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"jlX. ^'/7 


Tlw printiiig of tUt editioii of The Poems tad 
Phiee Remaini of ICn. Amie BnMbtreet wm 
begun in Mijr» 1B959 tad compleced in April, 
1897. Twehe copies on Jtptn ptper, and one 
liundred and thirty-two copies on hand-made 
paper, were printed, and numbered respectiyely 
from I to 12 and from 13 to 144. 

This copy is No. y^ 











Copyright, 1897, by The Duodecimos. 



IrmoDucTtoN, by Chirles Eiiot Norion . 
Editor*! Note 

Thi Poems of Mrs. Bradstkeet: 

Prcfwory veries by sdmirers .... 3-1 + 

To her most honored fither 1 J 

The Prologue 17 

The Poor Eleroent* 19 

Tke Poor Hnraon 37 

The Ponr Age* 60 

The Poor Seuoni 77 

The Poor Monarchie* S7 

_ A Dulogae between Old England and New . 218 

An Elegy apon Sir Philip Sidney 330 

In Honor of Da Bartu aj^ 

In Honor of Qaeen Elizabeth 23S 

DaTJd'i Lamentation 243 

To the Memory of My Father . 245 

An Epitaph on My Mother .... 248 

Contemplationi 249 

The Pleih and the Spirit z$g 

The Vanity of all Worldly Thingi . 163 

The Author to her Book 166 



Poems upon divers occasions : 

Upon a fit of sickness 

Upon some distemper of body . 

Before the birth of one of her children 

To my dear and loving husband 
^^A letter to her husband . 



To her father, with some verses 
**'In reference to her children . 

In memory of Elizabeth Bradstreet . 

In memory of Anne Bradstreet 

On Simon Bradstreet .... 

To the memory of Mercy Bradstreet 

A Rmeral elegy upon Mrs. Anne Bradstreet 

Occasional Meditations : 

For my dear son Simon Bradstreet 
Meditations divine and moral 
To my dear children .... 
*«By night, when others soundly slept" . 
For deliverance from a fever . 

From another sore fit 

Deliverance from a fit of fainting . 
Meditations when my soul hath been refreshed 
Upon my son Samuel his going for England 
For the restoration of my dear husband 
Upon my daughter Hannah Wiggin 

^ On my son's return out of England . 
Upon my husband his going into England 

In my solitary hours 

For the letters I received from my husband 

For my husband's safe arrival 

««In silent night, when rest I took" 

* "As weary pilgrim, now at rest" 


























Anne Bradstreet .... Frontispiece. 
Governor Simon Bndstreei . . . opp. rii 

Chief Justice Joseph Dudley . , viii 

Chief Justice Paul l>udle7 ... xi! 

The Bradstreet Residence . . . xi 

Hdhrqr of the Bnditreet Hoom , zzuc 

Rev. John Cotton 318 

John Winthrop »4 

John Btiot 228 

Sr Philip Sidney .... 230 

William Salloit Dn Butai ... 234 

Eztnct from the Boiton " Newi Letter " . 348 


Husband of Anne. 

From the original piinting in the State Hoiue, Baatoo, Mm 


WbcB it wu proposed to me, not long linn, to 
e in intFodDcrion to the edidon of ike poem* of 
Mn. Anne Bndstrcei whicti "The Duodecimal" 
were ahmii lo iuue, many reasons compelled me ta 
iadme the mk. Tlic reqoeit. howerer, led me to 
uit ip osce more, alter ui inteml of manj' j'cuj, 
the pocma of "the tenth Mue," u Mn, Bnditreet 
WM termed <m the title-page of the fint edition of her 
vcnei, end I tnmcd to the elaborate and excellent 
cdhioB of them pnbluhed, thiny yean ago, by Mr. 
John Himrd EUii. After looking them through, I 
cuae OB the " Elegy upon the tmly pioui, pecrlew, 
and matdikn gentlewoman Mn. Anne Bnditreet," 
written by my aoccitor the Reverend John Norton, of 
Hii^ham. I had qnite forgotten iu existence, and, 
OB reading it, it ttnick me that there would be tome- 
thing of quaint appropriateness in my writing, at this 

viii Tbi Writings of Mrs. Anne Bradstrat 

long interval, in regard to her whose praises he had 
sung, and that the act would not be without a certain 
piety toward my ancestor. And, further, I reflected, 
that as I could trace my descent in one line directly 
from Governor Thomas Dudley, the father of Mrs. 
Bradstreet, and as the portraits of her brother. Gov- 
ernor Joseph Dudley, and his wife, looked down on 
me every day while I sat at breakfast and dinner, she, 
as my aunt nuny times removed, might not unjustly 
have a claim upon me for such token of respect to her 
memory as had been asked of me. Moved by these 
pious considerations, I revised my decision. 

I am sorry that I cannot speak with admiration 
of my venerable ancestor Mr. John Norton's versus, 
but their defects may, in part at least, be excused 
by his youth at the time when they were written. 
Mrs. Bradstreet died in 1672, two hundred and 
twenty-five years ago, and if the Elegy were written 
at that time (it first appeared in the second edition 
of her poems in 1678) Mr. Norton was in his 
twenty-second year, and had graduated at Harvard 
the year before. His verses are artificial in senti- 
ment, extravagant in expression, and cumbered with 
pedantry. The Elegy contains, indeed, two tolerably 

Hilf-brolher of Anne (Dudley) Bradstreei. 

From the txigiiul piloting owned by 
PiufcHai Cbulct E1h>1 Nurton, C«<nbrid|e, MuL 

iHtraiutttrj ix 

good line*, which is noi a baci proportion, coiuidering 
the OKuI cfatracter of such performances, ia which < 
nngle ezcellent verse would be surpriimg ; but to my 
regret I ud obliged to acknowledge that theic two 
credhable lines do noi belong (o the professed mihor, 
TtMyare these: 

"IJke a moil servile dacierer he 'II show 
Though he write truth and make the mbject you." 

Now it happens that Prtncia Beaumont, in the poent 
•ddmacd by him to the Countess of Rutland, the only 
daughter of Sir Philip Sidney, had written : 

" Althongh I know whate'er my venei be. 
They wiU like the moat servile flattery shew. 
If I write truth and nuke the mbject yon." 

It amuied me to find that the young graduate, then 
engaged in hit theological stndiet, bad had recoone 
to the poem* of the phiywright, who wu not held in 
good esteem by the devout of those days. 

But even Mn. Bradstreet'i repute u ■ poet, grettt 
at it wmt in her own little circle, hardly standa the 



X The Writings of Mrs, Anne Bradstreet 

test of time, and it is not their poetic merit which will 
lead any one at the present day to read her verses. 

The little that is known of her life has been often 
told. She and her husband were alike of gentle blood 
and gentle breeding. She was born in 1612, and 
married when only sixteen years old to a youth of 
promise nine years older than herself. Two years 
later, in 1630, they accompanied her father , Mr. 
Thomas Dudley, so distinguished in the later history 
of the Massachusetts colony, on the memorable voy- 
age of Winthrop and his companions in the Lady 
Arbella, Next after Winthrop, Dudley was the fore- 
most man of the emigration, and the young Bradstreet 
was already one of the "assistants" of the Massachu- 
setts Company, and seems to have been held in respect 
for his own character, as well as for his relationship 
to one of the leaders of the party. Of Mrs. Brad- 
street during the hard early years of the Massachu- 
setts settlement nothing is recorded, and in her poems 
she tells us nothing of the events of her life at this 
time. It is, indeed, a striking fiict in regard to her 
poetry, and a criticism upon it as well, that in it all 
there is scarcely a reference to New England, and 
no word from which one might gather that it had been 

ImtrUtuUrj zi 

w iiu c B in die New World st s time to dilBcalt, to 
uucfcstbi^ to ttTinge to thcte iMw-comen fitun die 
OM. Allkeralliisioniyherfigiiretof fpeech, heriUni- 
tntioas are diswn from die old jprom-gct Utengj [ <^ '"'^ ' 
itocL No New Engltnd bird tingi in her pages ; it it 
PUlomel, or tlie lark ; no New England flower leemi 
to have been dear to her; no incident or aspect of 
life pecoliar to New England u described or e?en 
l e fai ed to. Nothing can be g ather ed fitym her verses I 
in icnrd to the modes of existence or the social \ / ^l^^> 
experience of the first emigrants to this "nncoath I ' 

comer of the world," as Goyemor Belcher later 
called it. Of all those things about which we should 
be curious and interested to hear there is not a word. 
It is noteworthy how little of poetic sentiment the 
New Englanders displayed during the first century of 
the settlement. ' There was abundance of religious 
feeling ; abundance of domestic sentiment ; a quantity 
of verse was written ; but in the whole mass there is 
scarcely one line instinct with imagination, and few 
that show a play of fimcy or sustained liveliness of 
homor. The stnic% for the most part seem to partake 
of the rugged charaaer of the land which the English- 
bom settlers were mastering, and if every now and 

xii The Writings of Mrs. Anne Bradstrttt 

then there be a gleam of humor, as in some of the 
verses of the eccentric Reverend Mr. Nathaniel Ward, 
of which an illustration is afforded by the commenda- 
tory piece which he prefixed to the first edition of 
Mrs. Bradstreet's poems — if occasionally, I say, there 
be a flash of wit or humor, it has no native color, 
but might as well have had its origin in Old as in 
New England. 

It was not that the colonists were uninstructed 
people, or that they lacked knowledge of letters ; but 
their minds were occupied mainly with other mat- 
ters more serious to them than poetry. They were 
busy in providing for the essential needs of material 
life, and busier still in saving their souls according 
to a doctrine which left them little inclination for 
what seemed to them so trivial an occupation as the 
making of verse. They were cut off" from association 
with cultivated society, and were remote alike from 
the current of the intellectual life of the time and 
from the sources of refinement and of taste. This is 
strikingly evident even in Mrs. Bradstreet's poems, 
which, indeed, were the best the first generation of 
emigrants to New England produced. She had not 
been deprived of books, for her father was a lover of 

n of Joseph, and f.>iinder of the Dudleidn Lccmrc 

at Harvard College, 
■rom tht original piinling ownsi ly Dudley R. ChilJ, Eiq, 

hirtJudcrj xiii 

■Htltui tiirsruiB he is termed in his epitaph, — 
and he left xt his dcRCh a small but choice collection 
of lome silly volumes. She was acqusinted with st 
Icm three books unong the most predous in the whole 
field of English litenturc, the " Fierie Queene," the 
** Arcadia," and North'! " Plutarch." 1 But [hough 
ihe refers lo Spenser, there is no sign in her verses 
that she really cared for his poem. Her master in 
poetry was Du Bartas, in "silver-tongued" Sylvester's 
tmuladon. She refers often to the delight which she 
took In his poetry, and to its having been the inspir- 

IMr. ElSslus ^veninhii latndactioaaliit of the anthns to 
wbsa Mn. Bndmcet reien, or whotc works ahe had probably 
mi. Is a note he points oat a cniioos roemUincc in one of her 
vcnci to words ia " Hamlet." It is in tlie first editioD of her 
foCDM and was chan|ed in the second, and it occurs near the end 
of ^second of tbc "Poor Ages ofMu." The Terse stood t 

"Ceased [seii'd] bf the pipes of Seiieut Death's amsts," 

wUch ecftdn^ seems la hark back to Hamlet's 

*■ This fell seiieaat, doth, 
b strict In bis amst," t. IL ]47't. 

ll wooM be of intcrat to know that Mrs. Biadstreet had read 
the pUf . Thoc is, I beliete, no erideace tku there vat a cop; 
of Shakapeire'i plaji in Minachusetts duini the seventeenth 

xiv The fFrstsngs of Mrs. Anne Bradstreet 

ation of her muse. She begins a copy of verses in his 
honor, with the declaration, — 

<< Among the happy wits this age hath shown. 
Great, dear, sweet Bartas thou art matchless 

and she proceeds to extol him in terms which at last 
lead her to exclaim, 

''Pardon if I adore, when I admire." 

The Reverend Mr. Ward was not far wrong when, 
in his commendatory verses, he says 

"The Auth'ress was a right Du Bartas Girle." 

The immense vogue and influence of Du Bartas' s 
poems in France and in England for more than half a 
century,^ contrasted with the oblivion into which 
they have fallen in both countries, affords an illustra- 
tion not so much of the mutability of taste, as of the 
fact that circumstances other than its purely poetic 
merit may sometimes secure for verse an immediate 

1 The chief poem of Du Barttt, ^ The Week, or the Creatioii 
of the World,** was fint pnbliihed between 1570 and 1580, the 
eiact date it oncertain. 

popokritjr to genoiiie and so wide-spread as to ghre 
a delusive promise of lasting fiune. Wordsworth 
in the essay sopplementary to his fiunons Preface 
of 1815 asks: *<Who is there that can now en* 
dure to read <The Creation* of Da Bartas? Yet all 
Eorope once resounded with his praise ; he was ca- 
ressed by kings; and when his poem was translated 
into our language, 'The Faery Qaeen' Med before 
it«" Mr. LoweU, I think, goes too fiur when, in his 
essay on Spenser, he declares Wordsworth's statement 
to be '* wholly anfoonded." For the moment, and 
with a large class, the poem of Du Bartas had an ac- 
ceptance far beyond that of Spenser, but Mr. Lowell 
is right when he adds that ** the vitality of a poem 
is to be measured by the kind as well as the amount 
of influence it exerts. * * Spenser himself in the * * L* En- 
voy" to his translation of Du Bellay's "Ruines of 
Rome" speaks of the <' heavenly sense" of Du Bartas, 
and uniting him with Du Bellay, exclaims : 

*' Live happie Spirits, th' honour of your name. 
And fill the world with never dying fimie !" 

Du Bartas' s << Creation" retained its popularity 
well through the whole Puritan period. In his dedi- 

xvi The fFritings of Mrs. Anne Braistreet 

cation of the << Spanish Friar/' in 1681, Dry den says : 
*'I remember when I was a boy I thought inimitable 
Spenser a mean poet in comparison of Sylvester's Du 
Bartas, and was rapt into an extasy when I read these 
lines : 

*Now when the winter's keener breath began 
To crystallize the Baltic ocean. 
To glaze the lakes, to bridle up the floods. 
And perriwig with snow the baldpate woods.' 

I am much deceived if this be not abominable fustian." 
And in his "Art of Poetry," published in 1683, he 
again refers to the favorite of his callow days, and, 
scoffing at him with a lively quip, says : 

** Thus in times past Dubartas vainly writ. 
Allaying sacred truth with trifling wit; 
Impertinently, and without delight, 
Describ'd the Israelites' triumphant flight. 
And following Moses o'er the sandy plain. 
Perish' d with Pharaoh in the Arabian main." 

And again in the same poem, warning against bombast 
and fustian, he cites afresh the verses which had once 
charmed him, and bids the poets 

Intradncttry xvii 

•' Not with Du Birias • bridle up the floodi. 
And perriwig with wool ihc tialdpatc woods.' " ' 

Even in our own century Du Bariai fan not beea 
without admiren who have tried to restore credit to 
hi* work, tuid. nirprising u it may leem, chief among 
them it Goethe, He rebukei the French for their 
cooiempi and neglect of " The Creation," and de- 
clares thai il posscasea geniiine elements of poetry, 
though strangely mingled. The author, he says, deali 
with weighty and important themes which afford him 
uppuiluiu ty to diaplaf a nUre view of the world, and 
to ezfaibit entertainingly, in deicription, narrtrire, and 
didactic difcourse, tn immenae variety of knowledge.* 

In thta characterization of the poem Goethe un- 
doubtedly acconnu in part for iti popularity in the 
early aerenteenth century. Even Sainte-Beuve, who 
conteiti Goethe'i judgment, admits (bat Du Bartu 
had a certain Bccotitn fertility, and that fine fragment* 
may be detached from the mati of ** hii diipropar- 

1 Thcw SoM which ran ia Diydea'i haad uc to be faaai la 
the rowth Book of the FtrM Da; of tbe SeMnd Week of ^t 
CMnioo. Hii fint dtadon of then i> wraii| in nibMintiiic 
-nam- toi -•moAT 

* See the Nocei ippended to " Rameig'i Vlttk," 

xviii The Writings of Mrs, Anne Bradstreet 

tioned Babel.** The vogue of " The Creation '* was, 
indeed, due rather to its encyclopedic character, and 
to its poetic faults, than to its poetic merit. It was a 
compilation of miscellaneous learning, and while it did 
not lack spirit in versification and abounded in ingen- 
ious imagery, its very extravagance of diction and ex- 
cess of conceits suited the general taste. But there was 
a still deeper reason for its wide acceptance. <' The 
^ Creation*' combined piety with entertainment; it was 
'^the work of a grave disciple of Calvin, who invoked the 
Christian muse in opposition to the pagan mistresses 
of Ronsard and his followers. It was a poem for 
men who cared more for purity of doctrine than for 
purity of poetry, for men more interested in the Bible 
than in profane literature ; it was the poem of a 
^^ party in religion. The version by Sylvester, which 
was published in 1605, preserved essentially the char- 
acter of the original, and there is no reason for won- 
der that a Puritan girl, born in 161 2, when Milton 
was four years old, a girl bred piously and strictly, 
yet inspired with some faint poetic instinct, should 
have found delight as well as instruction in Du Bar- 
tas*s verse, and should have taken him for her master 
in the divine art. 



\ have »id rhat Mrs. Bridstreet apparently did not 
re for SpeoKr'a poetry. She seems to have cared 
inoTC, but with great reservations, for the "Arcadia 
tn her elegy upon Sir Philip Sidney, in the midat of 
her eulogy of him, she says of the "Arcadia": 

" I praise thee Dot for this, it is unfit. 
This was thy shame, O miracle of wit," i 

And yet, ai if repenting of this condemnation, 
adds, and the lines are among her most vigorous^ — 

" Btit he 's a beetlehead that can't deiciy 
A world of wealth within that nibbiih lie; 
And doth hii name, hit work, his honour wrong. 
The brave refiner of our English tongue. 
That tees not learning, valor and morality, 
Jiutice, friendship and kind hospitality. 
Yea and divinity within his book." 

She made tome little use of North's " Plutarch " in 
her poem on "The Pour Monarchies." But this 
poem is mainly a mere dry abridgment of Raleigh's 

*c Tcnci are odiitted in the •comd b 
bcir place k tlK line i 

in'd his witi 

I of bcT Ponni, ' 

XX The fFritings of Mrs, Anne Bradstreet 

** History of the World,*' which indeed I should have 
added to the list of noble books at her command. The 
^ poem is entirely tedious, being little more than a 
rhymed summary of events, with no spirit of exalta- 
tion in recounting the fates of great nations, and no 
touch of animation in the narrative of the heroic 
deeds of individuals. It is a long, conscientious, la- 
borious work, which nobody perhaps will ever again 
read through. I have looked in vain up and down 
its pages to find a verse which has the genuine tower- 
stamp of poetry; but I have not found one. Nor 
have I found in any of her poems the grace and charm 
of spontaneous lyrical utterance. Every now and then 
a single verse shows a true, if slight, capacity for po- 
etic expression; as, for instance, in the poem on ''The 
Four Elements": 

''My pearls that dangle at thy darling's ears" 

is a verse not without melodious flow; and in her 
poem on "The Four Ages of Man" there is one in 
^ which a familiar epithet of Gray's is anticipated: 

"But waking, glad to hear the cock's shrill voice"; 

h by G.,v<.Tn..r BrjJ^trc-i lo replace ihc dwollir.c 
.vliith was liurneJ in iMi(> (stc payc 143!, arui 
.<iiJ to have been the liomt ..f Anne "Brad>(rL-i>t 
inii) her deaih in i6rz. 


^^^^^^ htraJuflary 

xxi ' 

and (here ire four verses 

in her poem o 

n "The Four 

Seatoiu" which have m 

Dre than once 

been cited <u ^ 

examples of her poetry a 

its. best: 

^ 1 

" The feirful bird his little oest now builds j 

[n trees and walls, i 

n cities and in 


The omiide strong. 

ehe inside war 

m and neat. 

A luniral artificer c 


But if iheie be the beat 

what can be 

Mid about the 

htse remainder? 


Her chief work is a sc 

ries of four co 

tn positions, on 

"The Four Elemeota," "The Four Huroourt in 
Man'i Coiutinition," "The Pour Ages of Man," 
" The Four Seaaons of the Year." They are all of 
one design : each Element, each Humour, etch Age, 
each Season, ia repreaented as discouraing of itself, 
•etting forth its own good and evil qualitiei. The 
tcheme is proMuc, but it admits of a great variety of 
theme and of the display of an unusual amount of 
knowledge on many subject*. The imitation of Du 
Bartas ii manifest, bat it serves rather to enhance the 
merit of his verses than to secure excellence for those 
of his admirer. Mrs. Bradstreet has nothing of the 

xxii The Writings of Mrs, Anne Bradstreet 

energy and abundance of his vein, nothing of the pic- 
turesqueness of his broad stream of verse, and her ac- 
quisitions — large, even remarkable for a woman in her 
time and circumstances — were inconsiderable in com- 
parison with his vast if superficial learning. The 
^ best of her longer poems is called <' Contemplations." 
It is a series of simple religious reflections on the 
beauty of nature, the goodness of God, the transiency 
of man's life and of earthly things. Several of its 
stanzas of seven lines have grace and ease, and occa- 
sional metrical felicity; and had all her work possessed 
like excellence it might still be read with pleasure. 
But while the greater part of her poems show good 
sense and good feeling, and, at times, something of 
ingenuity and skill, they are devoid of inspiration, and 
even of the lower enthusiasm of the understanding. 
They are generally bald and prosaic, and their reader 
readily accepts her assertion concerning them: 

"And for the same I hours not few did spend, 
V. And weary lines, though lank, I many penn'd." 

'^ Mrs. Bradstreet' s modest consciousness of the slen- 
demess of her poetic outfit is, indeed, such as to 
show that she was a better judge of her verses than 

Imtfduitmrj zziii 

her too paitkd fnends. The first edidon of her 
poems WIS published in London in 1650, by her 
brother-in-kw, the Rev. John Woodbridge of An- 
do?er» then on a visit to the old country. He says 
in his pre&ce to the volume^ ** I fear the displeasure 
of no person in the publishing of these poems but 
the Author* s» without whose knowledge, and con- 
trary to her expectation, I have presumed to bring to 
pablic view what she resolved should never in such 
a mmner see the sun." In a little piece endtled 
'*The Author to her Book," written apparendy with 
a view to a second edidon of it, and which has more * 
fancy in it than any other which she ever wrote,-' 
Mrs. Bradstreet expresses with a pretty simplicity 
her feeling at seeing in print ** the ill-formed off- 
spring of her feeble brain." Let the reader turn to 
this little poem, and he will gain a very kindly feel- 
ing for the genUe lady who wrote it, while its last 
verses will interest him as a native specimen of the 
«« Envoy" with which the poets of the day were wont 
to send forth their work. 

"In better dress to trim thee was my mind. 
But naught save home-spun cloth i' th' house I find; 

xxiv The Writings of Mrs. Anne Braistreet 

In this array, 'mongst vulgar mayst thou roam. 
In critics' hands beware thou dost not come; 
And take thy way where yet thou art not known; 
If for thy Father askt, say, thou hadst none. 
And for thy Mother, she, alas, is poor. 
Which caus'd her thus to send thee out of door.** ^ 

" Some of Mrs. Bradstreet's occasional poems pos- 
sess a charm of natural and simple feeling which still 
touches the heart. They are the expressions of her 
domestic sentiment, addressed to her husband or to 
her children; or hymns in which she utters the de- 
vout aspirations and desires of her soul. In a little 
paper of religious experiences, which she prepared 
late in life as a legacy to her children, there is a pas- 
sage which makes one wish that she had put more of 
her own personal experience into her verse. She 
says: ''About sixteen the Lord laid his hand sore 
upon me and smote me with the smallpox. When I 
was in my affliction I besought the Lord, and con- 

1 These venes recall those of Spenser **To his Book,** prefixed 
to the <* Shepherds* Calendar ** : 

** But if that any ask thy name 
Say thou wert baae begot with blame.** 

fened my pride and Tanity, and He wu entreated of 
me and again restored me; but I rendered not to Him 
according to the benefit received. After a short time 
I changed my condition, and was married, and came 
into this coontry, where I found a new world and 
new manners, at which my heart rose. But after I 
was convinced it was the way of God I submitted to 
it and joined the church at Boston.'* Would that she 
had told us of the trials of that time, and why it was 
that her heart rose agpunst the new world and the new 
manners to which she had come! 

Besides this reference to this early hard experience, 
there is nothing in Mrs. Bradstreet's papers to indi- 
cate that she suffered, as so many of the women of 
her time and later suffered, from the black doctrine 
which made their lives dark with its shadow. Her 
religious meditations have remarkable sweetness and 
simplicity, and express a confidence in the mercies 
of God which it was seldom given to the tender- 
hearted in those days to attain. Something of this 
spirit no doubt was due to the native serenity and 
tranquillity of her disposition. She even fronted 
with calmness the dreadful peril of atheism which 
dismayed so many souls, and she says very simply 

xxvi The Writings of Mrs. Anne Bradstreet 

with regard to it, that, ''many times hath Satan 
, troubled me concerning the verity of the Scriptures, 
\ many times by atheism, how I could know whether 
there was a God. I never saw any miracles to con- 
firm me, and those which I read of, how did I know 
but they were feigned. That there is a God my 
reason would soon tell me by the wondrous works 
that I see, the vast frame of the heaven and the earth, 
the order of all things, night and day, summer and 
winter, spring and autumn, the daily providing for 
this great household upon the earth, the preserving 
/ and directing of all to its proper end. The considera- 
tion of these things would with amazement constantly 
resolve me that there is an eternal being." This is 
unusual thinking and unusual writing for a New Eng- 
land woman of the first generation. 

Her life must have been occupied mainly with 
household cares, for she became the mother of eight 
children, all of whom lived to grow up. But of the 
special incidents of that life there are few indications 
either in her poems or in the remains of her prose. 
One event affected her greatly. In the year 1666, 
in July, not quite two months before the Great Fire 
of London, her own house in the pleasant township 

of Andorer, which had been her home for sc 
ytKi, w«s burned. There are couches of n 

imral feeU 

ing in ihe verses which she wrote on 

one aympalhizea with her when, looking at che niins, 

the reflects: 

■' Here stood that trunk, and there that cheat. 

There all that store I counted best ; 

My pleasant things in ishes lie. 

And ihcm behold no more shall I. 

Under thy roof no guest shall sit. 

Nor at thy table eat a bit. 

"No pleuant tale ahall e'er be told. 
Nor things recounted done of old. 
No candle e'er shall shine in thee. 
Nor bridgrooro's voice e'er heard shall be ; 
In silence ever shall thou lie. 
Adieu, adieu, all 'a vanity." 

Among the things which perished in the burning, and 
which she perhaps regretted more than others of more 
worth, was the conclusion of her poem on the Four 
Monarchies. It remained unfinished at her death. 

But little as we know of her daily occupations and 
interests, and difficult as it is to follow even in fancy 


xxviii The Writings of Mrs. Anne Bradstreet 

the daily life of a housewife in New England in that 
early time, there is enough in the pieces addressed to 
her husband and to her children to indicate that in 
her home was much affection and much happiness. 
Her husband, according to such report as has come 
down to us regarding him, was an intelligent and well- 
intentioned man, a conscientious Puritan, trustworthy 
in affairs, and of a kindly disposition. He does not 
seem to have been distinguished by superior talents, 
but he had a character which secured the respect and 
confidence of his associates. His wife writes to him 
in terms such as she could not have used if she had not 
found in him all that was needed to make her content 
with life. He long survived her, living to be ninety- 
four years old, thus acquiring and deserving the appella- 
tion of the Nestor of the Colony. She begins a poem, 
** To my dear and loving Husband," with the words : 

** If ever two were one, then surely we. 
If ever man were loved by wife, then thee ; 
If ever wife was happy in a man. 
Compare with me, ye women, if ye can." 

Other poems addressed to him are less simple in ex- 
pression than this, and in them she indulges in the 



From a photograph, 1S96. 


InirtditcttTj xxiz 

hich were fivored by poet* of her time. 
Perhips the most amusing is ooe derived from iier 
bvorite Du Baitai, wiio, in hti account of the fishes in 
the I^fth Day of the Crealioa. tells how the mullet 
wu distinguished above all other creatures for its 
(idclity to its mate. So Mn. Bndiircet, writing to 
her hciband, says : 

" Return my dear, my joy, my only love. 
Unto thy hind, thy mullet, and thy dove. 
Who neither joys in paaiurc, house, nor streamB; 
The lubiiance gone, O me, these »re but dreams. 
Together « one tree, oh let ut browie. 
And like two turtles roost within one house. 
And like the mullets in one river glide — 
Let '■ still remain but one, till death divide. 

Thy loving love, and dearest dear. 
At home, abroad and everywhere," 

Kit perhaps of all her domestic poems there is none 
whid hu a truer accent of emotion than one written 
"On my Son's return out of England, July 17, 1661." 
The son had been away for more than four years, and 
she begins her verses with. 


XXX The Writings of Mrs. Anne Bradstreet 

** All praise to Him who now hath turned 
My fears to joys, my sighs to song. 
My tears to smiles, my sad to glad: 
He 's come for whom I waited long." 

And again in the next year, when her husband re- 
turned from a visit to England, whither he, with the 
Rev. John Norton, the elder, had been sent on an 
important mission as agents of the Colony, she breaks 
out into praises to the Lord with. 


What shall I render to Thy Name, 
Or how Thy praises speak? 
My thanks how shall I testify ? 
O Lord, thou know'st I 'm weak." 

Such utterances are witnesses alike of the depth of 
her piety and the strength of her affections. 

I said just now that it was difficult for us to recon- 
struct in imagination the days of the New England 
woman of the first generation transplanted from the 
Old World. Our lives are too remote from theirs in 
all external conditions to enable us to picture save 
in outline the interests and the occupations with 

Intrtdueury ixxi 

which they were most coacerncd. But it U not diffi- 
rali to farm the image of a chacafier like Mrs. Brad- 
itTcei'* IS it » shown m her own writing, under the 
conditiont of life which we know must have existed 
for her. It is the image of a sweet, devout, serene, 
and »ffeflionite nature, ola woman fsithfully discharg- 
ing the multiplicity of duties which fell upon the 
mother of many children in ihoie days when little 
help from outside could be hadt when the mother 
Onut provide for all their wants with scanty means 
of lupply, and must watch over their health with 
the consciousness thai little help from without was 
lo be had in case of even serious need. I tancy 
her occupying herself in the intervals of household 
ctrei with the books which her own small library tutd 
her father's afforded, and writing, with pains and 
modest satis&iaion, the verses which were so highly 
esteemed at the time, but which for us have so little 
intrinsic interest. She cherished in herself and in her^ 
children the things of the mind and of the spirit; and 
if mch memory as her verses have secured for her de- 
pend rather on the rare circumstance of a woman's 
writing them at the time when she did, and in the 
place where she lived, than upon their poetic wonh. 


xxxii The Writings $/ Mrs. Anne Bradstnet 

it 18 a memory honorable to her, and it happily pre- 
serves the name of a good woman, among whose de- 
scendants has been more than one poet whose verses 
reflect lustre on her own.^ 

Charles Eliot Norton. 
Jamuakt, 1897. 

1 Through one of her children ihe is the ancettren of Richard 
Henry Dtnaj through another, of Oliyer Wendell Holmes. 



The FIRST EDITION of Mrs. B»dstr«l'» poemi 
WIS printed ia London in i6;o. There had been ■ 
preis It Cambridge, Mauachuseits, lince 1638, buc 
there is no reason to auppoBC thai this book wai 
offered to it for printing, for the press wss constintly 
occupied with church, state, and educsiionil docu- 
atoiU of imporuuice, suid had ao leitaie for work 
which wu not of item neceuity. 

It would teem tlut the Rev. John Woodbridge, 
who had come to New England in 1634, and had 
married Mn. Braditreet'i yoonger sitter Mercy, wu 
much impreued by hit tister-in-law'a "gracioua de- 
meanor, eminent parti, pioiu convemtion, and conr- 
teooi diiposidon," and, upon kit return for a rifit to 
the mother country in 1647, took with him a number 
of her poenu in manotcript, and bad them printed in 
London without the content of the author. To jut- 
tify himself in hit course, he secured a number of 
commendatory epistles in verte from friends and ad- 


« THE 


Lately fprungup in America. 

I Severall Poems, compiled 

I with great variety of V Vit 

I and LearningjfuU of delight. 

J Wherein efpecially is contained a com- g 

% pUac difcourfc and defcription of ' ^ 
i The FourX';f/'f ^i J 

( 5c<//(}ni f r 6^ Tear. ^ & 

w Together with an Exadt Epitomie of 
•^ the Four Monarchies J i//ic. 

^ (Ajfyum^ 

I *"^ ^Grecian, 

^ ^ Roffidtt* 

^ Alfo a Dialogue between Old Engl^nJ and 
New^concerning the late troubles. 

With 6 ivers other plcaUnr and ratoos Poems. 

!g By a Gentlewoman in thcfe parts* 

^ Piinted at Lon(fcn for Sttfhen BowUU at the figne of ihf^ 
I Bible ia Popes Head-Alley. i6$o. ^ 



Intredutterj zxzv 

mben of the author, and iDserted them at the beg^n~ 
lUBg of the volume directly tfter hii own quaint 
prdiice in which he sought to appease the expected 
rcKntmcnt of Mrs. Bradatreel. 

"The Tenth Muse" could not have been a 
woman if when she received a copy of the book she 
did not seize upon it, in spite of hei protesutions, 
with a fluttering, pleased exciiemeat. But a perusal 
of her writings in type revealed to her n)orci£cd 
gau the extent of her own shortcomings and the 
inevitable btunden of the printer. Mrs. Bradstreel 
w«» the first — but not the last — American author 
whose " blushing was not small " at sight of her first 
book; and she later (p. i66 of this edition) recorded 
with some asperity her feelings against those "friends 
len wiie than true" who were responsible for the 
publication of her "ragged tinei," and iguntt the 
printer who instead of "lessening her errors" added 
freili ftults of his own. 

She undertook a revision of this edition, but with 
the birth of her eighth child, the death of her ftther, 
the frequent absence of her husband upon public em- 
plojrmcnt, and her fitmily cmres, her literary occupa- 
tioiu were interrupted ; and when in July, 1666, the 
house in which she lived at Andover wis burned to 
the ground, and her papers "fell a prey to the raging 
fire," she seems to have abandoned all idea of fiirther 
effort in that direction. 

xxzvi The Writings of Mrs. Anne Bradstreet 

Mrs. Bradstreet died in 1672. Six years later the 
SECOND EDITION of her Poems was printed. 
At the end of the book was placed additional matter, 
with this heading: ** Several other poems made by the 
author upon divers occasions were found among her pa- 
pers after her deaths which she never meant should come 
to public view ; amongst which these following^ at the 
desire of some friends that knew her well, are here in- 
serted,** It is surmised that this edition was prepared 

^ for the press by the Rev. John Norton, of Hingham, 
who appended a '^ Funeral Elegy" upon the author. 
John Foster was the printer of this book. He 
was graduated from Harvard College in 1667, was 
authorized to set up a press at Boston about 1676, 
and died in 1681 aged thirty-three years. Although 
Mr. Foster appears to have been much respected, he 
was responsible for what may be called ''a deal of 

\ indifferent printing." Just what part he took in the 
actual labor of book-making is not known; it is chari- 
table to suppose that he was not bred to the art, and 
employed unskilful and careless workmen. 

In setting the types for this Second Edition a cer- 
tain measure, or width of page, was chosen. This 
was roomy enough for the majority of lines in the 
book ; but an occasional long-syllable verse was met, 
and the compositor seems to have tried hard to make 
each one fit the measure, and not to allow a portion 
of it to turn over to make another line. Thus we 



Comi^kd with great variety of Wit and 

Learnuig, Adl ot Delight. 

Wherdn cfpedally it contained a compleat 

DilbNifle» and Defcripdon of 


iiieroar j AGESofMan, 

Together with an exact Epitome of 

die three firft M«mar€^tt 
r«.The < PERSlANf 

And hgi^txi «/ '^' I^omane Common-wealth 

t0 tht end of their Ufi King t 

With diverfe other pleafant & ferious Ptmti 
By a Gentlewoman in Ntw-Bnf^UMd, 

Tbeftemid Editimt^ CvrrtHtd h tht Antbtrt 
andtnUrgid ij m Addition •ffunrdi ttbtr <&. 
lotrnt found dmoMgfi htr Psptrt ^ 

4» ^— X 

•^ BtfionfVt'medbffobnFofitr^ 167S. ^ 




zzzviii Tbi Writings of Mrs. Anne Bradstreet 

frequently find words in such a case huddled together 
with very little space between them, — sometimes 
none at all ; and when that did not avail words were 
abbreviated, with or without an apostrophe, capitals 
were reduced to small letters, long ''and" was re- 
placed by short ''&," punctuation marks were omit- 
ted, and other devices applied to accomplish the 
purpose. This heroic treatment was the common 
resort of compositors in the early stages of typog- 
raphy, and had not fallen entirely into disuse in the 
seventeenth century, as a few examples from the Sec- 
ond Edition of Mrs. Bradstreet' s poems will show; 
the first line of each couplet gives normal typogra- 
phy, the second as Mr. Foster printed it. 

He peer'd, and por'd, and glar'd, and faid, for wore. 
He peer'd, and por'd, & glar'd, & faid for wore, 

(page v) 

Earth, thou haft not moe countrys, vales, and mounds 
Earth thou haft not moe countrys vales & mounds 

(page 1 6) 

Laughter (though thou fay malice) flows from hence. 
Laughter (tho thou fay malice) flows from hence, 

(page 36) 

Now up, now down, now chief, and then brought 

Now up now down now chief, & then broght under, 

(page 184) 

hSrtiueUrj zxxix 

And bnote thofe feel, thofc legs, thofc arms, and iLighs, 
and linoie thofc feci [hofc legs, thofc trais & thighs 

(page 185) 
Poner'a fonts of tjrpe were not large. Ac certain ' 
point* in each iignacure he ran out of various loru: 
hence we (retjueiit!}' find VV for W, although the 
taller wai in abundance in pages immediaicly preced- 
ing; italic inilead of roman marks of punctuation, as, 
; .■ ?\ and upturned cotnmas in place of apostrophes. 

wll'd,"— not 
patches of some extet 
son for their being. 
by lower case i, and 


I isolated c 

»e nodoubt of thcrCB- 
e capital 1 is replaced 
r point by tower case t, 
in such a way as to appear intentional because he had 
not enough of the capitals. Although the apostrophe 
wu used on every page to show elision of letters, as, 
"ne'er," "you'll," "auth'resj," there is no in- 
stance of its use to indicate the possessive cue, as, 
*• Authors wit," " womani wrath,** " Chancers 
boots.'* Capitals were used very profiuely, and 
without method j on some pages few appear, on 
other* nearly all nouns are headed with them. A 

s this: 

' Hia Suit of Crimson and his scarfe of green" 

(p*Be 44) 




Compiled with great Variety of Wit JindLs ARM* 

iNG» full of Delight > 

Wheretii cfpecially is conramed, a compleat DUcourfe and 

JDcrcripcion of 

El K M E NTSt 

TKi. Fnnr ) Constitutions, 
The Four < AcEsof Man, 

SEASonsofthe Year. 

Together with an cicaQ Ep i r o Mf of the three firft 

MONARCHIES, <r/c. the 

jlSSrRlAN. ROMAN Common 

PERSIAN, Wealth from iis begjri^ 

« ^ w • . . B«nff» «o ^hc End of their 

GRECIAN, and faaKiwc. 
With divers other pleafaoc and ferious POEMS. 

By a Gentlewoman in New-EngUnd. 

7bi Third Edition, corretted fy f be Author, 
and enlarged by an Addition of feveral otber 
Poems found amongft bet Tapers after her 

RC'princed from the feeond Editioo, in the Year 




^1 The 

^V Boiion, 

Inireduttorj xli 

The THIRD BDITION w» printed also ai 
758. The namei of the publisher and 
printer are not known. It was a reprint from the 
second edition, though by a simple change in the 
title-page the impression is given that Mrs. Brad- 
street was responsible for the numerous corrections 
of ipelling and capitalization and other improve- 
mentB found therein. Of course the Third Edition 
was nti "corrected by the Author." The types in 
this edition were more accurately composed than in 
either of those preceding. 

The FOURTH EDITION was printed at Cam- 
bridge in 1867 for Abram E. Cutter, of Charles- 
town, under the supervision of John Harvard Ellis, 
af Boston. Mr. Ellis was most painstaking in his 
labors; his researches were original and cztenaive, hit 
reference* aathoriiative, and his notes helpfiil. He 
incloded a quantity of material not in the other edi- 
doni, — imdoubtedly the remainder of that which wu - 
foond among Mrs. Bradstreet's papers after her death, 
■nd which " she never meant should come to public 

There 11 ground for but one difference of opinion 
with Mr. Ellis. He reprinted (he writings of Mrs. 
Bradstreet after the Second Edition, retaining care- 
fhlly all its wretched spelling, conAising punctuation. 



tine latali^trrrt 









Diunethodical capiulizacion, and even its typographi- 
cml errori! The Second Edition was repleie with 
unioicntioDal errors, mere results of carelessness on 
die part of the printer; as, " h is possible?" for 
"Isil possible?" '* Snrdanapal " for " Sardanapal," 
"tortnr'd" for "tortur'd," "Persian" for"Pcr- 
nan," " feblee " for "feeble," "strenghi " for 
"strength," and so ad finem. Mr, Ellis scrupu- 
lously reproduced these plain misprints. He even 
inierted a roman tetter in an italic word on the same 
authortiy, thus, " fiiw-EngUnd" % and as to the in- 
dications of a small font hereiofore described, such as 
the use of VV for W, italic punciuation marks for 
roRiin, upturned commas tor apostrophes, lower case 
i tnd 1 for capital I, — in all these, mirebilt ditla, the 
Fourth Edition followed its leader. 

This aeemi nnreaionable, and The Duodecimos, in 
prcpving the FIFTH EDITION, determined to 
print ihcK writings of the lirsi American poet as 
though they had never been printed before. They 
here offer a volnme in which the orthography, espe- 
cially of proper names, has been carefiilly modernized, ' 
in which evident printers' errors hive been corrected, 
and a few trifling alterations made to avoid perpetu- 
ating instances of unnecessarily bad grammar, — de- 
fects which can add no value to a new edition, but 

xliv The Writings of Mrs, Anne Bradstreet 

which obscure such meaning as the lines may contain. 
As a rule^ elided letters have been supplied in words 
like "hind'ring," "heav'n," "to 't," and "th'," 
in accordance with general modern usage. The 
reader will understand that the meter requires the 
slurred pronunciation formerly indicated by the apos- 

For permission to use the portraits and other illus- 
trations included in this volume the especial thanks 
of The Duodecimos are extended to the Common- 
wealth of Massachusetts; the American Antiquarian 
Society, Worcester, Mass., which also kindly placed 
in the hands of the Publication Committee for com- 
parison its perfect copy of the rare Second Edition 
of Mrs. Bradstreet' s poems ; the Lenox Library, 
New York ; Prof. Charles Eliot Norton, Cambridge, 
Mass.; Mr. Dudley R. Child, Boston, Mass.; and 
Mr. Mollis R. Bailey, of Boston. To very many 
other gentlemen grateful acknowledgment of their 
interest is hereby expressed. 

Frank E. Hopkins, 
For the Publication Committee. 


P»ge HI, line lo, for "coit»" rwd "co(e»." 
P«ge 287, line 7, for "^filteirt" re»d '• siUatit." 


[The poems following to page 1S7 inclu5ive arc 
reprinted from the Second Edition, 1678, of the writ- 
ingi of Mrs. Bradstrect. The facsimile of the title- 
page of that edition, printed on page xjczvii of this 
volume, ii repeated in thii connection aa part of the 


The Four 



% Compiled with great variety of Wit and * 

* Learning, full ot Delight. * 
^ Wherein erpecially is contained a coropleat « 
► Difcourfc, and Defcription of * 

AGES of Man, 
. SEASONSoftheYear.; 
i Together with an exact EpiiomcoF 

^ the three fird Monarehytt 

I _ ^ ^SSTRIAN, 

I r«.The ^ PERSIAN, 


I ^ftJ*i|(ii/ji»>f e/'*'R-omaneCommon-weaIth T 

^ te thttnd of their iafl King! ^ 

X With divetfc other plcatant & fcrious P«ran) ] 

*fr By a Gentlewoman in Ntw-EnitMwi. 

% Thtftcond Editim 
^ anienUrgtdbj 



CcrrtEltd tjtht Anlhgrt J 
Adiiittenoffivtrtlctbtr ^ 
tttmt foMnd Among{i htr Pdptrf ^*» 

after hrr Death. X 

■*■ 5o;7o»ti Printed by ^M" fff/?<^ 1678. ■<- 

Had I opportunity but to borrow some of the 
Author's wit, 'i is possible I might ao trim this curi- 
ous work with such qutint expressions as that the 
preface might bespeak thy further perusal; but I fear 
't will be a shame for a man that can speak so little 
to be seen in the title-page of this woman's book, 
lesi hy comparing the one with the other ibe reader 
should pus hi* sentence that Jl ii the ^f( of women 
not only to speak most but to speak best. I shall leave 
therefore to commend that which with any ingenuou* 
reader will too much commend the Author, unless 
men turn more peevish than women, to envy the ex- 
cellency of the inferigr sex. I doubt not but the 
reader will quickly find more than t can say, and the 
worst eftcH of his reading will be unbelief, which will 
make him question whether it be a woman's work, 
and ask. Is it possible ? If any do, take this as an an- 
swer from him that dares avow it: It is the work of 
a woman, honored and esteemed where she lives for 
her gracious demeanor, her eminent parts, her pious 
conversation, her courteous disposition, her exaUt 
diligence in her place, and discreet managing of her 


4 To the Reader 

family occasions; and more than so, these poems are 
the fruit of but some few hours curtailed from her 
sleep and other refreshments. I dare add little lest 
I keep thee too long. If thou wilt not believe the 
worth of these things in their kind when a man 
says it, yet believe it from a woman when thou seest 
it. This only I shall annex: I fear the displeasure of 
no person in the publishing of these poems but the 
Author, without whose knowledge, and contrary to her 
ezpedbtion, I have presumed to bring to public view 
what she resolved in such a manner should never see 
the sun; but I found that divers had gotten some scat- 
tered papers, affedied them well, were likely to have 
sent forth broken pieces to the Author's prejudice, 
which I thought to prevent, as well as to pleasure 
those that earnestly desired the view of the whole. 


Mercury showed Apollo Bartas' book, 

Minerva [his, and wished him well to look 

And leli uprightly which did which excel. 

He viewed and viewed, and vowed he could not tell. 

They bid him hemisphere his moldy nose 

With his cracked leering glasses, for it would pose 

The best brains he had in his old pudding-pan. 

Sex weighed, which best— the woman, or ihe man? 

He peered, and pored, and glared, and said, forwore. 

They both 'gin laugh, and slid it wh no mar'l. 
The Authoress wis i right Du Birtas girl. 
"Good sooth!" quoth the old Don, "tell ye mc so? 
I muse whither ai length these girls will go. 
It htif revives my chill frost-bitten blood 
To tee I woman once do aught that 's good; 
And chodc by Chaucer's boots and Homer's fiirs. 
Let men look to it lest women wear the spurs. 

N. Wabix 


Though most that know me dare, I think, affirm 

I ne'er was bom to do a poet harm. 

Yet when I read your pleasant witty strains 

It wrought so strongly on my addle brains 

That though my verse be not so finely spun. 

And so like yours cannot so neatly run. 

Yet am I willing, with upright intent. 

To show my love without a compliment. 

There needs no painting to that comely face 

That in its native beauty hath such grace. 

What I, poor silly I, prefix, therefore. 

Can but do this, make yours admired the more; 

And if but only this, I do attain 

Content that my disgrace may be your gain. 

If women I with women may compare. 
Your works are solid, others' weak as air. 
Some books of women I have heard of late. 
Perused some, so witless, intricate. 
So void of sense and truth as if to err 
Were only wished, a^ng above their sphere; 


TV Mj Dear Sister 7 

And oU to get what, silly souls, they lack — 
Eile«m lo be the wisest of the pack. 
Though, for your sake, 10 s.ome this be permitted 
To print, yel wish I many better wictcd; 
Their vanity makes this to be inquired. 
If women are with wit and sense inspired. 
Vet when your works shall come to public view, 
'T will be affirmed, 'c will be confirmed, by you. 
And I, when seriously I had revolved 
What you had done, I presently resolved 
Theirs was the persons', not the sex's, failing. 
And therefore did bespeak a modest vailing. 
You have acutely, in Eliza's ditty. 
Acquitted women, else I might with pity 
Have wished them all to women's works to look. 
And never more to meddle with their book. 
What you have done the sun shall witness bear 
That for a woman's work 't is very rare; 
And if the Nine vouchsafe the Tenth a place, 
I think they rightly may yield you that grace. 
But lest I should exceed, and too much love 
Should too too much endeared affiifUon move 
To superadd in praises, I shall cease. 
Lest while I please myself I should displease 
The longing reader, who may chance complain. 
And so requite roy love with deep disdain, 
Tiut I, your silly servant, stand in the porch. 
Lighting your sunlight with my blinking torch; 

8 To My Dear Sister 

Hindering his mind's content, his sweet repose. 

Which your delightful poems do disclose 

When once the casket *$ opened. Yet to you 

Let this be added, then I '11 bid adieu: 

If you shall think it will be to your shame 

To be in print, then I must bear the blame. 

If it be a fault, 't is mine; 't is shame that might 

Deny so fair an infant of its right 

To look abroad. I know your modest mind: 

How you will blush, complain 't is too unkind 

To force a woman's birth, provoke her pain. 

Expose her labors to the world's disdain. 

I know you '11 say you do defy that mint 

That stamped you thus to be a fool in print. 

'T is true, it doth not now so neatly stand 

As if 't were polished with your own sweet hand; 

'T is not so richly decked, so trimly attired; 

Yet it is such as justly is admired. 

If it be folly, 't is of both or neither: 

Both you and I, we '11 both be fools together; 

And he that says 't is foolish, if my word 

May sway, by my consent shall make the third. 

I dare outface the world's disdain for both 

If you alone profess you are not wroth. 

Yet, if you are, a woman's wrath is little 

When thousands else admire you in each tittle. 

I. W. 

upon ibt Auther 9 


Now I believe tradition, which doth cill 
The Muses, Virtues. Gr.ees, females »11; 
Only they are not nine, eleven, nor three — 
Our Authoress provei them but one unity. 
Mankind, lake up some blushes on the icore; 
Monopolize perfectidn no more; 
In your own arts confess yourselves outdone: 
The moon hath totally eclipsed the sun — 
Not with her sable mantle muffling him, 
Bui her bright silver makes his gold look dim: 
Just « his beims force our pale lamps to wink. 
And earthly fires within their ashes shrink. 

B. W. 

f cannot wonder at Apollo now. 
That he with female laurel crowned hit brow: 
That made him witty! Hid I leave to choose. 
My verse should be a page unto your Muse. 

C. B. 

lo In Fraisi of the Author 


What golden splendent star is this so bright. 
One thousand miles twice told, both day and night. 
From the orient first sprung, now from the west 
That shines, swift-winged Phoebus and the rest 
Of all Jove's fiery flames surmounting far 
As doth each planet every falling star? — 
By whose divine and lucid light most clear 
Nature's dark secret mysteries appear. 
Heaven's, earth's, admired wonders, noble a£b 
Of kings and princes, most heroic fa£b. 
And whate'er else in darkness seemed to die; 
Revives all things so obvious now to the eye 
That he who these its glittering rays views o'er 
Shall see what was done in all the world before. 

N. H. 

UpeH ibe Aathar 1 1 

'T were extreme foliy should I dare atlempt 
To praise this Author's worth with compliment. 
None but herself must dare commend her parts 
Whose lablime brain's the synopsis of arts. 
Nature and skill here both \a one agree 
To frame this mMterpiece of poetry. 
False Fame, belie their sex no more. It can 
Surpass, or parallel, the best of man. ^ r R 


' I 've read your poem, lady, and admire 
Your SCI to such a pitch should e'er aspire. 
Go on to write; continue to relate ■^ 
New histories of monarchy and state; 
And what the Romans [o their poets gave 
B« sure luch honor and esteem you '11 have. 

H. S. 

Anna Bradittriatt. Deer neat At Bartai. 
So Bartas-like thy line spun poems been. 
That Bartas' name will prove an epicene. 

Anne Braditriatt. Artes bred neat An. 

I z Upon Mn. Anne Bradstreet 


Madam, twice through the Muses' grove J walked; 

Under your blissful bowers I shrouding there. 

It seemed with nymphs of Helicon I talked. 

For there those sweet-lipped Sisters sporting were. 

Apollo with his sacred lute sat by. 

On high they made their heavenly sonnets fly. 

Posies around they strewed of sweetest poesy. 

Twice have I drunk the nefbu* of your lines. 
Which high sublimed my mean-bom phantasy. 
Flushed with these streams of your Maronean wines. 
Above myself rapt to an ecstasy, 
Methought I was upon Mount Hybla's top. 
There where I might those fragrant flowers lop 
Whence do sweet odors flow and honey-spangles drop. 

To Venus' shrine no altars raised are. 

Nor venomed shafts from painted quiver fly; 

Nor wanton doves of Aphrodite's car 

Are fluttering there, nor here forlornly lie 

Lorn paramours; nor chatting birds tell news 

How sage Apollo Daphne hot pursues. 

Or stately Jove himself is wont to haunt the stews. 

Nor barking satyrs breathe, nor dreary clouds. 
Exhaled from Styx, their dismal drops distil 

Vpon Mrs. Anne Bradstrtet 1 3 

Within these fairy flowery fields, nor shrouds 
The screeching night-raven with his shady quill; 
But lyric strings here Orpheus nimbly hits, 
Arion on hia saddled dolphin sits. 
Chanting as every humor, age, and leason fits. 

Here silver swans with nightingales set spelb 
Which sweetly charm the traveler, and raise 
Earth's earthed monarchs from their hidden cells. 
And to appearance summon lapsfd days. 
There heavenly air becalms the swelling frays. 
And fury fell of elements allays 
By payiag every one due wibute ofltii praise. 

This icemed the site of all those verdant vales 
And purled springs whereat the nymphs do play. 
With lofty hills where poets rear their tales 
To heavenly vaults which heavenly sound repay 
By echo's sweet rebound. Here ladies kiss. 
Circling, nor songs, nor dance's circle miss; 
But whilst [hose sirens sung, 1 sunk in sea of bliss. 

Thus weltering in delight, my virgin mind 

Admits a rape; truth still lies undescried. 

It 's singular that plural seemed, I find; 

'T was Fancy's glass alone that multiplied; • 

Nature with Art so closely did combine, 

I thought I saw the Muses' treble trine. 

Which proved your lonely Muse superior to the Nine. 

14 Upon Mrs. Anne Brads tr at 

Your only hand those poesies did compose; 

Your head the source whence all those springs did flow; 

Your voice whence change's sweetest notes arose^ 

Your feet that kept the dance alone, I trow. 

Then vail your bonnets, poetasters all. 

Strike lower amain, and at these humbly fall. 

And deem yourselves advanced to be her pedestal. 

Should all with lowly congees laurels bring. 
Waste Flora's magazine to find a wreath. 
Or Peneus' banks, 't were too mean offering. 
Your Muse a fairer garland doth bequeath 
To guard your fairer front: here 't is your name 
Shall stand emmarbled; this your little frame 
Shall great colossus be, to your eternal fame. 


I Ml please myself, though I myself disgrace. 
What errors here be found are in Errata's place. 

J. Rogers. 





Dear Sir, of late delighted with ihe »ight /'T.D. Ob 
or your Tour Sisters clgched in black and) th FtMr 
white. I Ptrlstf 

Of fairer dame: ihc sun ne'er mw the face, \lbelVtrU. 
Though made a pedestal for Adam's race. 
Their worlh so shines in these rich lines you show. 
Their panllelt to lind I tcarcely know. 
To climb (heir climes I have nor strengtli nor tktll; 
To mount so high requires an eagle's quill. 
Yet view thereof did cause roy thoughts to soar — 
My lowly pen might wait upon these four! 
I bring my four times four, now meanly clad, 
To do their homage unto yours, full glad: 
Who for their age, their worth, and quality 
Might seem of yours to claim precedency: 
But by my humble hand thus rudely penned. 
They are your bounden handmaids to attend. 
These tame are they from whom we being have; 
These are of all the life, the nurse, the grave; 
These are the hot, the cold, the moist, the dry, 
That sink, that swim, that fill, that upwards fly; 


1 6 The Writings of Mrs. Anne Bradstreet 

Of these consist our bodies, clothes, and food. 
The world, the useful, hurtfid, and the good. 
Sweet harmony they keep, yet jar ofttimes — 
Their discord doth appear by these harsh rhymes. 
Yours did contest for wealth, for arts, for age; 
My first do show their good, and then their rage. 
My other Fours do intermixed tell 
Each other's faults, and where themselves excel; 
How hot and dry contend with moist and cold. 
How air and earth no correspondence hold. 
And yet, in equal tempers, how they agree. 
How divers natures make one unity. 
Something of all, though mean, I did intend. 
But feared you 'd judge Du Bartas was my friend. 
I honor him, but dare not wear his wealth. 
My goods are true, though poor; I love no stealth; 
But if I did I durst not send them you. 
Who must reward a thief but with his due. 
I shall not need mine innocence to clear: 
These ragged lines will do it when they appear. 
On what they are, your mild aspe6l I crave; 
Accept my best, my worst vouchsafe a grave. 

From her that to yourself more duty owes 
Than water in the boundless ocean flows. 

March 20, 1642. 




To ling of wan, of captains, and of kings. 

Of cities founded, common weal i ha begun. 

For my mean pen are too superior things; 

Or how they aJl, or each, [heir dates have run; 

L« poets and historians set these forth. 

My obscure lines shall not so dim their worth. 

Bat when my wandering eyes and envious heart 
Great Bartas' sugared lines do but read o'er. 

Fool I do grudge the Muses did not pan 

A Bartai can do what a Bartas will, 
Bui simple I according (o my skill. 

From school-boys' tongues no rhetoric we expe£l. 
Nor yet a sweet consort from broken ttrings, 
Nor perfeil beauty where 's a main defefl: 
My foolish, broken, blemished Muse so sings; 
And this to mend, alas, no an is able, 
'Canae nature made it so, irreparable. 

Nor can I, tike that fluent, sweet-tongued Greek ! / 

Who lisped at first, in future times speak plain; 
By art he gladly found what he did seek — 
A fall requital of his striving pain. 

1 8 The Writings of Mrs. Anne Bradstreet 

Art can do much, but this maxim 's most sure: 
A weak or wounded brain admits no cure. 

I am obnoxious to each carping tongue 

Who says my hand a needle better fits. 

A poet's pen all scorn I should thus wrong; 

For such despite they cast on female wits. 

If what I do prove well, it won't advance — 

They Ml say it 's stolen, or else it was by chance. 

But sure the antique Greeks were far more mild. 
Else of our sex why feigned they those Nine, 
And Poesy made Calliope's own child? 
So 'mongst the rest they placed the Arts Divine. 
But this weak knot they will full soon untie — 
The Greeks did naught but play the fools and lie. 

Let Greeks be Greeks, and women what they are. 

Men have precedency, and still excel. 

It is but vain unjustly to wage war: 

Men can do best, and women know it well. 

Preeminence in all and each is yours — 

Yet grant some small acknowledgment of ours. 

And oh, ye high flown quills that soar the skies. 
And ever with your prey still catch your praise. 
If e'er you deign these lowly lines your eyes. 
Give thyme or parsley wreath; I ask no bays. 
This mean and unrefined ore of mine 
Will make your glistering gold but more to shine. 


The Fire. Air, Earth, and Water did contest 

Which was the sirongest, noblesl, and [he best; 

Who was of greatest use and mightiest fotce. 

In placid terms they thought now to discourse. 

That in due order each her turn should apeak. 

But enmity this amity did break; 

Ai] would be chief, and all scoiiieJ 1l> be under; 

Whence issued winds and ratns, lightning and thunder; 

The quaking earth did groan, the sky looked black. 

The fire the forced air in sunder crack; 

The sea did threat the heavens, the heavens the earth; 

All looked like a chaos, or new birth. 

Fire broiled earth, and scorched earth it choked; 

Both, by their darings, water so provoked 

That roaring in it came, and with its source 

Soon made the combatants abate their force. 

The rumbling, hissing, puffing, was so great 

The world's confusion it did seem to threat; 

Till gentle Air contention so abated 

Thai betwixt hot and cold she arbitrated. 

20 The Writings of Mrs. Anne Bradstreet 

The others' difference, being less, did cease. 
All storms now laid, and they in perfect peace. 
That Fire should first begin the rest consent. 
The noblest and most afUve element. 


''What is my worth both ye and all men know. 

In little time I can but little ^how. 

But what I am, let learned Grecians say; 

What I can do, well-skilled mechanics may; 

The benefit all living by me find. 

All sorts of artists here declare your mind. 

What tool was ever framed but by my might? 

Ye martialists, what weapons for your fight. 

To try your valor by, but it must feel 

My force? — your sword, and gun, your lance of steel. 

Your cannon 's bootless, and your powder, too. 

Without mine aid. Alas, what can they do — 

The adverse wall 's not shaked, the mine 's not blown. 

And in despite the city keeps her own. 

But I with one granado or petard 

Set ope those gates that 'fore so strong were barred. 

Ye husbandmen, your coulters 're made by me. 

Your hoes, your mattocks, and whate'er you see 

Subdue the earth, and fit it for your grain. 

That so it might in time requite your pain; 

Though strong-limbed Vulcan forged it by his skill, 

I made it flexible unto his will. 

'Tbe Four Elements z \ 

Ye cooks, your kitchen implements I frame. 

Your spits, pots, jacks, ivh»t else I need not name; 

Your daily food I wholesome make; I warm 

Your shrinking limbs, which winter's cold doth harm. 

Ye Paracelsians, too, in vain 's your skill 

In chemistry unless I help you still. 

And you, philosophers, if e'er you made 

A transmutation il was through mine aid. 

Ye silversmiths, your ore i do refine; 

What mingled lay with earth 1 cause to shine. 

But let mc leave these things; my flame aspires 

To match on high with the cdcacial fires. 

The sun an orb of fire was held of old ; 

Our NLgn now another tale have told. 

But be he what they will, yet his aspeCt 

A burning fiery heat we find refleA; 

And of the self-same nature is with mine. 

Cold sister Earth, no witness needs but thine: 

How doth his warmth refresh thy frozen back, 

And trim thee brave in green after thy black! 

Both man and beast rejoice at his approach. 

And birds do sing to see his glittering coach. 

And though naught but salamanders live in fire. 

And fly pjraujta called, — all else expire, — 

Yet men and beasts, astronomers will tell. 

Filed in heavenly constellations dwell — 

My planets of both sexes, whose degree 

Poor heathen judged worthy a deity. 



22 The Writings of Mrs, Anne Bradstreet 

There 's Orion, armed, attended by his dog; 

The Theban, stout Alcides, with his club; 

The valiant Perseus, who Medusa slew; 

The horse that killed Bellerophon, then flew. 

My crab, my scorpion, fishes, you may see. 

The maid with balance, wain with horses three. 

The ram, the bull, the lion, and the beagle. 

The bear, the goat, the raven, and the eagle. 

The crown, the whale, the archer, Berenice's hair. 

The hydra, dolphin, boys that water bear; 

Nay, more than these, rivers 'mongst stars are found — 

Eridanus, where Phaethon was drowned. 

Their magnitude and height should I recount. 

My story to a volume would amount. 

Out of a multitude these few I touch; 

Your wisdom out of little gather much. 

I '11 here let pass my choler, cause of wars; 

And influence of divers of those stars. 

When in conjundtion with the sun, do more 

Augment his heat which was too hot before. 

The summer ripening season I do claim; 

And man from thirty unto fifty frame. 

Of old, when sacrifices were divine, 

I of acceptance was the holy sign. 

'Mong all my wonders which I might recount. 

There ' s none more strange than ^tna' s sulph' ry mount ; 

The choking flames that from Vesuvius flew 

The over-curious Second Pliny slew. 

The Four Eiementi ij 

And with the ashes that it lomeiimcs shed 

Apulia's 'jacent parts were covered. 

And though I be i servant to each man. 

Yet, by my force, master my masters can. 

What famous towns to cinders have I turned! 

What lasting forts my kindled wrath hath burned! 

The stately seats of mighty kings by me 

In confused heaps of ashes may you see. 

Where ') Ninus' great walled town, and Troy of old, 

Carthage, and hundred more in stories told? 

Which when they could noi be o'ercomc by foea. 

The army, through my help, viflorious rose. 

And stately London, our Great Britain's glory, " 

My raging dame did make a mournful story; — 

But maugre all that I or foes could do. 

That phenix from her bed is risen new. 

Old sacred Zion, I demolished thee; 

Low great Diana's temple was by me; 

And more than bruitish Sodom for her lust. 

With neighboring towns, I did consume to duat. 

What shall I say of lightning and of thunder, 

Which kings and mighty ones amaze with wonder, — 

Which madcaCzsar(Romc't), the world's proud head. 

Foolish Caligula, creep under his bed, — 

Of meteors, ignes fatui, and the rest? 

But to leave those to the wise I judge it best. 

The rich I oft make poor, the strong I maim, 

Not sparing life when I can take the same. 

24 The Writings of Mrs. Anne Bradstreet 

And, in a word, the world I shall consume. 
And all therein, at that great day of doom; 
Not before then shall cease my raging ire. 
And then because no matter more for fire. 
Now, sisters, pray proceed; each in your course. 
As I, impart your usefulness and force." 


The next in place Earth judged to be her due. 

** Sister,** quoth she, **I come not short of you; 

In wealth and use I do surpass you all. 

And Mother Earth of old men did me call. 

Such is my fruitfiilness — an epithet 

Which none e'er gave, or you could claim, of right. 

Among my praises this I count not least, 

I am the original of num and beast. 

To tell what sundry fruits my fat soil yields 

In vineyards, gardens, orchards, and corn-fields. 

Their kinds, their tastes, their colors, and their smells. 

Would so pass time I could say nothing else; 

The rich, the poor, wise, fool, and every sort. 

Of these so common things can make report. 

To tell you of my countries and my regions. 

Soon would they pass not hundreds but legions; 

My cities famous, rich, and populous. 

Whose numbers now are grown innumerous. 

I have not time to think of every part. 

Yet let me name my Grecia, *t is my heart; 

Tbt Four EUmenis 

For learning, arms, and arcs T love ii well, 
Bui chiefly 'cause the Muses there did dwell. 
1 '11 here sicjp o'er my mountains reaching sky. 
Whether Pyrenean or the Alps, which lie 
On either iide the country of the Gauls, 
Strong forts from Spanish and Italian brawls; 
And huge great Taurus, longer than the rest. 
Dividing great Armenia from the least; 
And Hemua, whose steep sides none foot upon. 
But farewell all for dear Mount Helicon; 
And wondrous high Olympus, of such fame 
That heaven itself was oft called by that name; 
Pojiuiaus iweec, I dote too muc}] on thee. 
Unless thou prove a better friend to me. 
But I '11 leap o'er these hills, not touch a dale. 
Nor will I stay, no, not in Tempe vale. 
I '11 here let go my lions of Numidia, 
My panthers and my leopards of Libya, 
The behemoth, and rare found unicorn 
(Poison's sure antidote lies in his horn). 
And my hyena (imitates man's voice); 
Out of great numbers I might pick my choice, 
Thounnds in woods and plains, both wild and ti 
But here or there, I list now none to name — 
No, though the fawning dog did urge me sore 
In his behalf to speak a word the more, 
Whose trust and valor I might here commend. 
But time 's too short and precious so to spend. 

26 The Writings of Mrs. Anne Braastreet 

But hark you, wealthy merchants, who for prize 
Send forth your well-manned ships where sun doth rise: 
After three years, when men and meat are spent. 
My rich commodities pay double rent. 
Ye Galenists, my drugs that come from thence 
Do cure your patients, fill your purse with pence; 
Besides the use of roots, of herbs, and plants 
That with less cost near home supply your wants. 
But, mariners, where got you ship and sail. 
And oars to row, when both my sisters fail? 
Your tackling, anchor, compass, too, is mine. 
Which guides when sun nor moon nor stars do shine. 
Ye mighty kings, who for your lasting fames 
Built cities, monuments, called by your names. 
Were those compiled heaps of massy stones 
That your ambition laid aught but my bones? 
Ye greedy misers, who do dig for gold. 
For gems, for silver, treasures which I hold. 
Will not my goodly face your rage suffice 
But you will see what in my bowels lies? 
And ye artificers, all trades and sorts. 
My bounty calls you forth to make reports 
If aught you have to use, to wear, to eat. 
But what I freely yield upon your sweat? 
,And choleric sister, thou, for all thine ire, 
l^ell knowest my fuel must maintain thy fire; 
As I ingenuously with thanks confess. 
My cold thy fruitful heat doth crave no less 

The Ftar Eltmemts 17 

Bqi how my cold, dry temper works upon 

The roelucholy consticutifin. 

How the intuama] totson I do swiy. 

And how I force the gnyheid to obey, 

I (hoald here make a short yet true narration, 

Bnt that thy method w mine imitation. 

Now must I show mine adverse quality. 

And how I oft work man's mortality. 

He sometimes finds, mangre his toiling pain. 

Thistles and thorns where he ezpefted grain; 

My sap to plants and trees I must not grant; 

The vine, the olive, and the fig-tree want; 

The com and hay do fall before they 're mown; 

And buds from fruitful trees as soon as blown. 

Then dearth prcvatla; that nature to suffice, 

The mother on her tender infant flies; 

The husband knows no wife, nor father sons. 

But CO all outrages their hunger runs. 

Dreadful examples soon I might produce, 

Bui to such auditors *t were of no use. 

Again, when delvers dare, in hope of gold. 

To ope chose veins of mine, audacious, bold. 

While they thus in mine entrails love to dive. 

Before they know they are interred alive. 

Ye affrighted wights appalled, how do ye shake 

When once you feel me, your foundation, quake.' — 

Because in the abyss of my dark womb 

Your cities and your selves I oft entomb. 

28 The ffritings of Mrs, Anne Bradstreet 

dreadful sepulcher! that this is true, 
Dathan and all his company well knew; 

So did that Roman, far more stout than wise. 

Burying himself alive for honor's prize; 

And since fair Italy full sadly knows 

What she hath lost by these remediless woes. 

Again, what veins of poison in me lie; 

Some kill outright, and some do stupefy — 

Nay, into herbs and plants it sometimes creeps. 

In heats, and colds, and gripes, and drowsy sleeps. 

Thus I occasion death to man and beast 

When food they seek and harm mistrust the least. 

Much might I say of the hot Libyan sand 

Which rise like tumbling billows on the land 

Wherein Cambyses' army was overthrown 

(But, windy sister, 't was when you have blown). 

1 Ml say no more; but this thing add I must: 
Remember, sons, your mold is of my dust; 
And after death, whether interred or burned. 
As earth at first, so into earth returned." 


Scarce Earth had done, but the angry Water moved. 
"Sister," quoth she, "it had full well behooved. 
Among your boastings, to have praised me. 
Cause of your fruitfulness, as you shall see. 
This, your negle6l, shows your ingratitude. 
And how your subtilty would men delude. 

Tbt Faitr Elmtwts 29 

Not one of ns, all knows, that ' < like to thee. 

Brer, in craring from the other three. 

But thou art bound to me above the reit. 

Who am thy drink, thy blood, thy up, and ben. 

If I withhold, what art thou? Dead, dry lump. 

Thou beareit nor grass, nor plant, nor tree, nor snunp. 

Thy extreme thlnt is moistened by my love 

With springs below and showers from above. 

Or else thy sua-bumed face and gaping chops 

Complain to the heayeni, if I withhold my drops. 

Thy bear, thy dger, and thy lion stont. 

When I am gone their fierceness none needs donbt; 

Thy camel hsth no strength, thy boll no force. 

Nor mettle 's found in the coungeous horse; 

Hinds leave their calves, the elephant the fens. 

The wolves and savage beasts forsake their dens; 

The lofty eagle and the stork fly low; 

The peacock and the ostrich share in woe; 

The pine, the cedar, yea, and Daphne's tree 

Do cease to flourish in this misery. 

Man wants his bread and wine, and pleasant fruits; 

He knows such sweets He not in Earth's dry roots, 

Then seeks me out, in river and in well. 

His deadly malady I might ezpel. 

If I supply, his heart and veins rejoice; 

If not, soon ends his life, as did his voice. 

That this is true. Earth, thou canst not deny. 

1 call thine Egypt this to verify. 

30 The ffri tings of Mrs, Anne Bradstreet 

Which, by my fatting Nile, doth yield such store 
That she can spare when nations round are poor; 
When I run low, and not overflow her brinks. 
To meet with want each woeful man bethinks. 
And such I am, in rivers, showers, and springs. 
But what 's the wealth that my rich ocean brings? — 
Fishes so numberless I there do hold. 
If thou shouldst buy it would exhaust thy gold. 
There lives the oily whale, whom all men know, — 
Such wealth, but not such like. Earth, thou may st show, — 
The dolphin, loving music, Arion's friend. 
The witty barbel, whose craft doth her commend. 
With thousands more which now I list not name. 
Thy silence of thy beasts doth cause the same. 
My pearls that dangle at thy darlings' ears 
Not thou, but shell-fish, yield, as Pliny clears. 
Was ever gem so rich found in thy trunk 
As Egypt's wanton Cleopatra drunk? 
Or hast thou any color can come nigh 
The Roman purple, double Tyrian dye? — 
Which Caesar's consuls, tribunes, all adorn. 
For it to search my waves they thought no scorn. 
'Thy gallant, rich, perfuming ambergris 
I lightly cast ashore as frothy fleece; 
With rolling grains of purest massy gold. 
Which Spain's Americas do gladly hold. 
Earth, thou hast not more countries, vales, and mounds 
Than I have fountains, rivers, lakes, and ponds: 

The Four Eltmfnis 

My sundry leas. Black, White, and Adriatic, 
Ionian, Baltic, and the vast Atlantic, 
^gean, Caspian, golden rivers £ve, 
Asphaltiies Lake, where naught remains alive; — 
But I should go beyond thee in my boasts 
If 1 should name more seas than thou hast coast*. 
And be thy mountains e'er so high and steep, 
I soon can match them with my seas as deep. 
To spcat of kinds of waters I neglect — 
My divers fountains, and their strange effeCl; 
My wholesome baths, together with their cures; 
My water sirens, with their guileful lures; 
The uncertain cause of certain ebbs and flows. 
Which wondering Atiatctle's H'il ae^er knows. 
Nor will I speak of waters made by art. 
Which can to life restore a fainting heart; 
Nor fruitful dews; nor drops distilled from eyes. 
Which pity move, and oft deceive the wise; 
Nor yet of salt and sugar, sweet and smart — 
Both, when we list, to water we convert. 
Alas, thy ships and oars could do no good 
Did they but want my ocean and my flood. 
The wary merchant on his weary beast 
Transfers his goods from south to north and east. 
Unless I ease his toil and do transport 
The wealthy freight unto his wished port. 
These be my benefits, which may suffice. 
I now must show what ill there in me lies. 

32 The Writings of Mrs. Anne Bradstreet 

The phlegmy constitution I uphold; 

All humors, tumors, which are bred of cold. 

O'er childhood and o'er winter I bear sway. 

And Luna for my regent I obey. 

As I with showers ofttimes refresh the earth. 

So oft in my excess I cause a dearth. 

And with abundant wet so cool the ground. 

By adding cold to cold, no fruit proves sound. 

The farmer and the grasier do complain 

Of rotten sheep, lean kine, and mildewed grain. 

And with my wasting floods and roaring torrent 

Their cattle, hay, and com I sweep down current. 

Nay, many times my ocean breaks his bounds. 

And with astonishment the world confounds. 

And swallows countries up, ne'er seen again. 

And that an island makes which once was main. 

Thus Britain fair, 't is thought, was cut from France; 

Sicily from Italy by the like chance; 

And but one land was Africa and Spain 

Until proud Gibraltar did make them twain. 

Some say I swallowed up (sure 't is a notion) 

A mighty country in the Atlantic Ocean. 

I need not say much of my hail and snow. 

My ice and extreme cold, which all men know; 

Whereof the first so ominous I rained 

That Israel's enemies therewith were brained; 

And of my chilling snows such plenty be 

That Caucasus' high mounts are seldom free. » 

Tbt Ftur EUmtntf 33 

Mine tee doth glaze Europe'* greet riven o'er; 

Till nut releate, their ihipi cut sail no more. 

All know that inundatloits I hare made. 

Wherein not men, but mountaiiu, aeemed to wade: 

Ai when Achaia all under water itood. 

That for two hundred years it ne'er proved good; 

Deucalion's great deluge, with man]' more. 

But these are trifles to the flood of Noah; 

Then wholly perished earth'* igtioble race. 

And to this day impairs her beauteous liice. 

That after times shall never feel like woe. 

Her cottfirmed *odi behold my colored bow. 

Much ntight I a*Y "^ wrecks; but that I '11 spare. 

And now give place unto our sister Air." 

" Content," quoth Air, " to speak the last of you, 
Yei am not ignorant first was my due. 
I do suppose you 'It yield, without control, 
I am the breath of every living soul. 
Mortals, what one of you that loves not me 
Abundantly more than my sisters three? 
And though you love Fire, Earth, and Water well. 
Yet Air beyond all these you know to excel. 
I ask the man condemned, that 's near his death. 
How gladly should his gold purchase his breath; 
And all the wealth that ever earth did give. 
How freely should it go, so he might live, 

34 ^^^ Writings of Mrs, Anne Bradstreet 

No, Earth, thy witching trash were all but vain 

If my pure air thy sons did not sustain. 

The famished, thirsty man that craves supply. 

His moving reason is. Give, lest I die. 

So loth he is to go, though nature 's spent. 

To bid adieu to his dear element. 

Nay, what are words, which do reveal the mind ? — 

Speak who or what they will, they are but wind. 

Your drums', your trumpets', and your organs' sound. 

What is it but forced air which doth rebound? 

And such are echoes, and report of the gun 

That tells afar the exploit which it hath done. 

Your songs and pleasant tunes, they are the same; 

And so the notes which nightingales do frame. 

Ye forging smiths, if bellows once were gone 

Your red-hot work more coldly would go on. 

Ye mariners, 't is I that fills your sails. 

And speeds you to your port with wished gales. 

When burning heat doth cause you faint, I cool; 

And when I smile, your ocean 's like a pool. 

I help to ripe the corn, I turn the mill. 

And with myself I every vacuum fill. 

The ruddy, sweet sanguine is like to air. 

And youth and spring sages to me compare. 

My moist, hot nature is so purely thin. 

No place so subtilely made but I get in. 

I grow more pure and pure as I mount higher. 

And when I 'm throughly rarefied, turn fire. 

Tbe Four Eitmenti 


So, when I am condensed, I Lurn lo water. 
Which may be done by holding down my vapor; 
Thus 1 mother body can assume. 

Some for this cause of late have been so bold 

Me for no element longer to hold. 

Let such suspend their thoughts, and silent be. 

For all philosophers make one of me; 

And what those uges either spalte or writ 

Is more authentic than our modern wit. 

Next, of my fowls such multitudes there are. 

Earth's beasts and Water's fish scarce can compare — 

The ostrich with her plumes, the eagle with her eyen. 

The pheniz, too, if any be, ore mine; 

The stork, the crane, the partridge, and the pheasant. 

The thrush, the wren, the lark, — a prey to the peasant, — 

With thousands more which now I may omit 

Without impeachment to my tale or wit. 

As my fresh air preserves all things in life, 

So, when corrupt, mortality is rife; 

Then fevers, purples, poi, and pestilence. 

With divers more, work deadly consequence; 

Whereof such multitudes have died and fled. 

The living scarce had power to bury the dead. 

Yea, so contagious countries have we known, 

That birds have not 'scaped death as they have flown; 

Of murrain, cattle numberless did fall; 

Men feared destruflion epidemical. 


36 The Writings of Mrs, Anne Bradstreet 

Then of my tempests felt at sea and land. 
Which neither ships nor houses could withstand. 
What woeful wrecks I 've made may well appear. 
If naught were known but that before Algier, 
Where famous Charles the Fifth more loss sustained 
Than in the long hot war which Milan gained. 
Again, what furious storms and hurricanoes 
Know western isles, as Christopher's, Barbadoes, 
Where neither houses, trees, nor plants I spare. 
But some fall down, and some fly up with air. 
Earthquakes so hurtful, and so feared of all. 
Imprisoned I am the original. 
Then what prodigious sights I sometimes show. 
As battles pitched in the air, as countries know; 
Their joining, fighting, forcing, and retreat. 
That earth appears in heaven, oh, wonder great! 
Sometimes red flaming swords and blazing stars. 
Portentous signs of famines, plagues, and wars. 
Which make the mighty monarchs fear their fates 
By death, or great mutation of their states. 
I have said less than did my sisters three; 
But what 's their wrath or force, the same 's in me. 
To add to all I 've said was my intent. 
But dare not go beyond my element." 



The fonner fonr now ending their disconne, 

Cemring to nunt their good, or threat their force, 

Lo, other four itep up, crave leare to ihow 

The native qualities that from them flow. 

But first they wiaely showed their high detcent. 

Each eldest daughter to each element: 

Cholcr was owned by Fire, and Blood by Air; 

Earih knew her black swarth child. Water her fair. 

All having made obeisance to each mother. 

Had leave to speak, succeeding one the other. 

Bat 'mongst themselves they were at variance 

Which of the four should have predominance. 

Choler first hotly claimed right by her mother. 

Who had precedency of all the other; 

But Sanguine did disdain what she required. 

Pleading herself was most of all desired. 

Proud Melancholy, more envious than the rest. 

The second, third, or last could not digest; 

3A J7 

38 The Writings of Mrs. Anne Bradstreet 

She was the silentest of all the four; 

Her wisdom spake not much, but thought the more. 

Mild Phlegm did not contest for chiefest place. 

Only she craved to have a vacant space. 

Welly thus they parle and chide; but, to be brief. 

Or will they nill they Choler will be chief. 

They, seeing her impetuosity. 

At present yielded to necessity. 


** To show my high descent and pedigree 
Yourselves would judge but vain prolixity. 
It is acknowledged from whence I came; 
It shall suffice to show you what I am — 
Myself and mother one, as you shall see. 
But she in greater, I in less, degree. 
We both once masculines, the world doth know. 
Now feminines awhile, for love we owe 
Unto your sisterhood, which makes us render 
Our noble selves in a less noble gender. 
Though under fire we comprehend all heat. 
Yet man for choler is the proper seat; 
I in his heart ere6l my regal throne. 
Where monarch-like I play and sway alone. 
Yet many times, unto my great disgrace. 
One of yourselves are my compeers in place. 
Where if your rule prove once predominant. 
The man proves boyish, sottish, ignorant; 

The Four Hiimtrt $• 

But if yon yield subtemence unto me, 

I make ■ man ■ man in the faighett degree. 

Be he I soldier, I more fence his heart 

Than iron corslet 'gunst a sword or dart. 

What nuket him face hii foe without appal. 

To storm a breach, or scale a city wall; 

In dangers to account himself more sure 

Than timorous hares whom castles do iromore? 

Hare you not heard of worthies, demi-godsf 

'Twizi them and others what is it makes the odds 

Bntralor? Whence conies that? From none of you. 

Nay, milksops, at such brunts you look but blue. 

Here 's sister Ruddy, worth the other two, 

Who much will talk, but little dares she do, 

Unless to court and claw, to dice and drink; 

And there she will outbid us all, I think. 

She loves a fiddle better than a drum; 

A chamber well; in field she dares not come. 

She'll ride a horse as bravely as the best. 

And break a staff, provided be in jest; 

But shuns to look on wounds, and blood that 'a spilt 

She loves her sword only because it 's gilt. 

Then here 's our sad black sister, worse than you; 

She Ml neither say she will, nor will she do, 

Bui, peevish malcontent, she musing sits. 

And by misprision 's like to lose her wits. 

If great persuasions cause her meet her foe. 

In her dull resolution she's so slow 

4© The Writings of Mrs, Anne Bradstreet 

To march her pace to some is greater pain 

Than by a quick encounter to be slain. 

But be she beaten, she '11 not run away; 

She '11 first advise if it be not best to stay. 

Now let 's give cold white sister Phlegm her right — 

So loving unto all, she scorns to fight; 

If any threaten her, she '11 in a trice 

Convert from water to congealed ice; 

Her teeth will chatter, dead and wan 's her face. 

And 'fore she be assaulted quits the place. 

She dares not challenge if I speak amiss. 

Nor hath she wit or heat to blush at this. 

Here 's three of you all see now what you are; 

Then yield to me preeminence in war. 

Again, who fits for learning, science, arts? 

Who rarefies the intelledhial parts. 

From whence fine spirits flow, and witty notions? 

But't is not from our dull slow sister's motions. 

Nor, sister Sanguine, from thy moderate heat. 

Poor spirits the liver breeds, which is thy seat. 

What comes from thence my heat refines the same. 

And through the arteries sends it o'er the frame; 

The vital spirits they 're called, and well they may. 

For when they fail man turns unto his clay. 

The animal I claim as well as these — 

The nerves should I not warm, soon would they freeze. 

But Phlegm herself is now provoked at this. 

She thinks I never shot so far amiss; 

Tie Ftar Humtrt 

The brain she challengeth, the hesd'i her *t»\. 

But know it 's a foolish brain tbit wanteth best; 

My tbience provea it plain — her wit then fliet 

Out at her noK, or melteth at her eyei. 

Oh, who would misi thii inflnence of thine 

To be dittilled, a drop on every line! 

Alas, thou hatt no ipirita; thy company 

Will feed a dropay or a tympany. 

The palty, gout, or cramp, or lome auch dolor. 

Thou wast not made for soldier or for scholar. 

Of greasy paunch and bloated cheeks go vaunt; 

But a good head from these are dissoiumt. 

But, Melancholy, wouldst have this glory thJnef 

Thou sayest thy wits are staid, subtile, and fine; 

'T is true, when I am midwife to thy birth 

Thyself 's as dull as is thy mother Earih. 

Thou canst not claim the liver, head, nor heart. 

Yet hast the seal assigned, a goodly part — 

The sink of all us three, the hateful spleen; 

Of that black region nature made thee queen. 

Where pain and sore obstruciion thou dost work. 

Where envy, malice, thy companions, lurk. 

If once thou 'rt great, what follows thereupon 

But bodies wasting and destructidn i 

So base thou art that baser cannot be. 

The excrement adustion of me. 

But 1 am weary to dilate your shame; 

Nor is it my pleasure thus to blur your name, 

42 The Writings of Mrs, Anne Bradstreet 

Only to raise my honor to the skies. 

As objedb best appear by contraries. 

But arms and arts I claim, and higher things. 

The princely qualities befitting kings. 

Whose profound heads I line with policies: 

They 're held for oracles, they are so wise; 

Their wrathful looks are death, their words are laws; 

Their courage it foe, friend, and subje6l awes. 

But one of you would make a worthy king 

Like our sixth Henry, that same virtuous thing 

That, when a varlet struck him o'er the side, 

*Forsooth, you are to blame,' he grave replied. 

Take choler from a prince, what is he more 

Than a dead lion, by beasts triumphed o'er? 

Again, you know how I aft every part 

By the influence I still send from the heart; 

It 's nor your muscles, nerves, nor this, nor that 

Does aught without my lively heat, that 's flat. 

Nay, the stomach, magazine to all the rest. 

Without my boiling heat cannot digest. 

And yet, to make my greatness still more great. 

What differences the sex but only heat? 

And one thing more, to close up my narration. 

Of all that lives I cause the propagation. 

I have been sparing what I might have said. 

I love no boasting; that 's but children's trade. 

To what you now shall say I will attend. 

And to your weakness gently condescend." 

The Ftur Humari 

"Good sisters, give me leave, as is my place. 
To vent my grief and wipe off" my disgrace. 
Yourselves may plead your wrongs are no whit less— 
Your patience more than mine I must confess. 
Did ever aober longue such language speHit, 
Of honesty such ties unfriendly break? 
Dost know thyself so well, us so amissf 
Is il arrogance or folly causeth this? 
I 'II only show the wrong thou 'st done to me. 
Then let ray sisters right their injury. 
To pay with railings is not mine intent. 
But to evince the truth by argument. 
I will analyze this thy proud relation. 
So full of boasting and prevarication; 
Thy foolish incongruities I 'II show. 
So walk thee till thou 'rt cold, then let thee go. 
There is no soldier but thyself, thou sayest; 
No valor upon earth, but what thou hast. 
Thy silly provocations I despise, 
And leave il to all to judge where valor lies. 
No pattern, nor no patron, will I bring 
But David, Judah's most heroic king, 
Whose glorious deeds in arms the world can tell, 
A rosy-cheeked musician thou knowest well; 
He knew well how to handle sword and harp. 
And how to strike full sweet, as well as sharp. 


44 The Writings of Mrs, Anne Brads treet 

Thou laughest at me for loving merriment. 

And scornest all knightly sports at tournament. 

Thou sayest I love my sword because it 's gilt; 

But know I love the blade more than the hilt. 

Yet do abhor such temerarious deeds 

As thy unbridled barbarous choler breeds. 

Thy rudeness counts good manners vanity. 

And real compliments base flattery. 

For drink, which of us twain likes it the best 

I '11 go no farther than thy nose for test. 

Thy other scoffs, not worthy of reply. 

Shall vanish as of no validity. 

Of thy black calumnies this is but part. 

But now I '11 show what soldier thou art. 

And though thou 'st used me with opprobrious spite. 

My ingenuity must give thee right. 

Thy choler is but rage when 't is most pure. 

But useful when a mixture can endure. 

As with thy mother Fire, so't is with thee — 

The best of all the four when they agree; 

But let her leave the rest, then I presume 

Both them and all things else she would consume. 

Whilst us for thine associates thou takest, 

A soldier most complete in all points makest; 

But when thou scornest to take the help we lend. 

Thou art a fury or infernal fiend. 

Witness the execrable deeds thou 'st done. 

Nor sparing sex nor age, nor sire nor son. 

The Fcur HMm4ri 45 

To HCiify th^ pride and cruelty 

Thoa oft hut broke bounds of humanity. 

^ty, ihould I tell, thou wouldat count me no blab. 

How often for the lie thou 'st given the aub. 

To take the wall '■ a ain of so high rate 

That naught but death the same may expiate. 

To croM thy will, a challenge doth deserve; 

So sheddest that blood thou 'rt bounden to preserve. 

Wilt thou thia valor, courage, manhood, call? 

No; know *t ia pride most diabolical. 

If mnrden be thy glory, 't is no less. 

I 'II not envy thy feat* nor happiness. 

But if in filling time and place 'gainst foes 

For country's good thy life thou darest expose. 

Be dangers ne'er so high, and courage great, 

I'll praise [hat prowess, fiiry, choler, heat. 

But such thou never art when all alone. 

Yet such when we all four are joined in one. 

And when such thou art, even such are we. 

The friendly coadjutors still o( thee. 

Nextly, the spirits thou dost wholly claim. 

Which natural, vital, animal, we name. 

To play philosopher 1 have no list. 

Nor yet physician, nor anatomist; 

For aAing these i have no will nor art. 

Yet shall with equity give thee thy part. 

For natural, thou dost not much contest; 

For there is none, thou saycst, if some, not beat 

46 The Writings of Mrs, Anne Bradstreet 

That there are some, and best, I dare aver. 

Of greatest use, if reason do not err. 

What is there living which does not first derive 

His life, now animal, from vegetive? 

If thou givest life, I give the nourishment; 

Thine without mine is not, 't is evident. 

But I, without thy help, can give a growth. 

As plants, trees, and small embryon knoweth. 

And if vital spirits do flow from thee, 

I am as sure the natural from me. 

Be thine the nobler, which I grant, yet mine 

Shall justly claim priority of thine. 

I am the fountain which thy cistern fills 

Through warm blue conduits of my venial rills. 

What hath the heart but what 's sent from the liver? 

If thou 'rt the taker, I must be the giver. 

Then never boast of what thou dost receive. 

For of such glory I shall thee bereave. 

But why the heart should be usurped by thee 

I must confess seems something strange to me. 

The spirits through thy heat made perfeft are. 

But the material 's none of thine, that 's clear; 

Their wondrous mixture is of blood and air — 

The first, myself; second, my mother fair. 

But I '11 not force retorts, nor do thee wrong; 

Thy fiery yellow froth is mixed among. 

Challenge not all 'cause part we do allow; 

Thou knowest I 've there to do as well as thou. 

Tbt Four Humtri 


But thou will Hy I deal unequally. 

There lives the irascible faculty 

Which, without all dispute, is Choler's own; 

Besides, the vehement heat, onJy there known. 

Can be imputed unto none but Fire, 

Which is thyself, thy mother, and thy sire. 

That this is true I easily can assent. 

If still you take along my aliment. 

And let me be your partner, which is due; 

So shall I give ihe dignity to you. 

Again, stomach's concoction thou dost claim, 

Bu: hy what riehl cor dojt nor caHJl thou name, 

Unleu, as hett, it be thy faculty. 

And so thou chaltengest her property. 

The help she needs the loving liver lends. 

Who the benefit of the whole ever intends. 

To meddle further I shall be but shent. 

The rest to our sisters is more pertinent; 

Your slanders, thus retiited, take no place. 

Nor what you 've said doth argue my disgrace. 

Now through your leaves some little time I 'II spend 

My worth in humble manner to commend. 

This hot, moist, nutritive humor of mine. 

When 't is untaint, pure, and most genuine. 

Shall chiefly take the place, as is my due. 

Without the least indignity to you. 

Of all your qualities I do partake. 

And what you single are, the whole 1 make. 

48 The Writings of Mrs, Anne Bradstreet 

Your hot^ moist^ cold, dry natures are but four. 

I moderately am all; what need I more? 

As thus, if hot, then dry; if moist, then cold. 

If this you can't disprove, then all I hold. 

My virtues hid, I *ve let you dimly sec 

My sweet complexion proves the verity. 

This scarlet dye 's a badge of what 's within. 

One touch thereof so beautifies the skin. 

Nay, could I be from all your tangs but pure, 

Man's life to boundless time might still endure. 

But here one thrusts her heat, where it 's not required; 

So, suddenly, the body all is fired. 

And of the calm, sweet temper quite bereft. 

Which makes the mansion by the soul soon left. 

So Melancholy seizes on a man. 

With her uncheerful visage, swarth and wan; 

The body dries, the mind sublime doth smother. 

And turns him to the womb of his earthy mother. 

And Phlegm likewise can show her cruel art. 

With cold distempers to pain every part; 

The lungs she rots, the body wears away. 

As if she 'd leave no flesh to turn to clay. 

Her languishing diseases, though not quick. 

At length, alas, demolish the fabric. 

All to prevent, this curious care I take: 

In the last concodlion segregation make 

Of all the perverse humors from mine own. 

The bitter Choler, most malignant known. 

The Four Human 

1 turn into her ceil ciosc by my side; 
The Melancholy to ihe spleen lo sbide; 
Likewise the whey, some use I in the veins. 

The overplus 1 send UDto the reins. 

But vet, for all my toil, my care, and skill. 

It's doomed, by an irrevocable will. 

That my intents should meet with interruption, 

That mortal man might turn Co his corruption. 

1 might here show the nobleness of mind 

Of such as to the sanguine arc inclined; 

They 're liberal, pleasant, kind, and courteous. 

And, like the fiver, all benignious. 

For arts and sciences ihey are the fittest. 

And, maugre Choler, still they arc the wittiest, 

Wiiti an iugcniuus working fa/iusy, 

A most voluminous large memory. 

And nothing wanting but solidity. 

But why, alas, thus tedious should I be? 

Thousand examples you may daily see. 

If time i have transgressed, and been coo long. 

Yet could not be more brief without much wrong. 

I 've scarce wiped off the spots proud Choler cast. 

Such venom lies in words, though but a blast. 

No brags 1 've used; to you I dare appeal, 

If modesty my worth do not conceal. 

[ 've used no bitterness, nor taxed your name. 

As I to you, to me do ye the same." 


50 The Writings of Mrs. Anne Bradstreet 


''He that with two assailants hath to do 

Had need be arm^d well, and adlivc too — 

Especially when friendship is pretended; 

That blow 's most deadly where it is intended. 

Though Choler rage and rail, I Ml not do so; 

The tongue 's no weapon to assault a foe. 

But sith we fight with words, we might be kind 

To spare ourselves and beat the whistling wind. 

Fair rosy sister, so mightest thou 'scape free. 

(I Ml flatter for a time as thou didst me; 

But when the first offender I have laid. 

Thy soothing girds shall fully be repaid.) 

But, Choler, be thou cooled or chafed, I Ml venture. 

And in contention's lists now justly enter. 

What moved thee thus to vilify my name. 

Not past all reason, but, in truth, all shame? 

Thy fiery spirit shall bear away this prize; 

To play such furious pranks I am too wise. 

If in a soldier rashness be so precious. 

Know in a general it is most pernicious. 

Nature doth teach to shield the head from harm; 

The blow that 's aimed thereat is latched by the arm. 

When in battalia my foes I face, 

I then command proud Choler stand thy place. 

To use thy sword, thy courage, and thy art 

There to defend myself, thy better part. 

Tbi Ffur Humtrs 51 

This wirineu count not for cowardice; 

He ii not truly valiuit that 't not wife. <^ 

It '1 no leu glory to defend a town 

Than by auault to gain one not our own. 

And if Marccllui bold be called Rome's iword, 

Wise Fabiui ii her buckler, all accord. 

And if thy haste my alownesi should not temper, 

'T were but a mad, irregular distemper. 

Enough of that by our sisters heretofore. 

I '11 come to that which wounds me somewhat more. 

Of learning, policy, thou wouldst bereave me. 

But not thine ignorance shall thus deceive me. 

What greater clerk or politician lives 

Than he whose brain a touch my humor gives? 

What is too hot my coldness doth abate. 

What 's diffluent I do consolidaie. 

[f I be partial judged, or thought to err. 

The melancholy snake shall it aver. 

Whose cold dry head more subtility doth yield 

Than all the huge beasts of the fertile field. 

Again, thou dost confine me to the spleen. 

As of that only part 1 were the queen. 

Let me as well make thy precinfts the gall. 

So prison thee within that bladder small. 

Reduce the man to his principles, then see 

If I have not more part than all you three. 

What is within, without, of theirs or chine. 

Vet time and age shall soon declare it mine. 

$2 The Writings of Mrs. Anne Bradstreet 

When death doth seize the man, your stock is lost; 
When you poor bankrupts prove, then have I most. 
You '11 say 9 here none shall e'er disturb my right; 
Youy high bom, from that lump then take your flight. 
Then who 's man's friend, when life and all forsakes? 
His mother, mine, him to her womb retakes: 
Thus he is ours; his portion is the grave. 
But while he lives, I '11 show what part I have. 
And first, the firm dry bones I justly claim. 
The strong foundation of the stately frame. 
Likewise the useful spleen, though not the best. 
Yet is a bowel called well as the rest; 
The liver, stomach, owe their thanks of right: 
The first it drains, of the last quicks appetite. 
Laughter (though thou say malice) flows from hence — 
These two in one cannot have residence. 
But thou most grossly dost mistake to think 
The spleen for all you three was made a sink. 
Of all the rest thou 'st nothing there to do; 
But if thou hast, that malice is from you. 
Again, you often touch my swarthy hue. 
That black is black, and I am black, is true. 
But yet more comely far, I dare avow. 
Than is thy torrid nose or brazen brow. 
^ But that which shows how high your spite is bent 
Is charging me to be thy excrement. 
Thy loathsome imputation I defy. 
So plain a slander needeth no reply. 

Tbt Ftur Humtri 53 

When hj thy h«ai thou 'at baked th/ulfto mut, 

And to trt called 'black' Choler, or idiut. 

Thou, witleu, thinkcM that I am thy ezcrctioo, 

80 mean thou art in art ai in diacretion. ^ 

But by your leave I '11 let your greatneaa lee 

What officer thou art to ua all three — 

The kitchen drudge, the cleanaer of thesinka. 

That catta out all that man e'er eata or drinka. 

If any doubt the truth whence thii thould come. 

Show then thy pauage to the duodenum; 

Thy biting quality (till irritatet. 

Till filth and thee nature ezoneratet. 

If there thou 'rt (topped, to the liver thou dott turn in. 

And thence with jaundice laffi^n all the skin. ^ 

No further time I '11 spend in confutation; 

I crust 1 've cleared your slanderous imputation. 

1 now speak unto all, no more to one; 

Pray hear, admire, and learn inatruclion. 

My virtues yours surpass without compare: 

The first my constancy, that jewel rare, 

Choler 's too rash this golden gift to hold. 

And Sanguine is more fickle manifold; — 

Here, there, her restless thoughts do ever dy. 

Constant in nothing but un constancy. 

And what Phlegm is we know, like to her mother; 

Unstable is the one, and so the other. 

With me is noble patience also found. 

Impatient Choler lovcth not the sound. 

54 ^^^ Writings of Mrs, Anne Bradstreet 

What Sanguine is, she doth not heed nor care» 

Now up, now down, transported like the air. 

Phlegm 's patient because her nature 's tame. 

But I by virtue do acquire the same. 

My temperance, chastity, are eminent; 

But these with you are seldom resident. 

Now could I stain my ruddy sister's face 

With deeper red, to show you her disgrace. 

But rather I with silence veil her shame 

Than cause her blush while I relate the same. 

Nor are ye free from this enormity. 

Although she bear the greatest obloquy. 

My prudence, judgment, I might now reveal; 

But wisdom 't is my wisdom to conceal. 

Unto diseases not inclined as you. 

Nor cold nor hot, ague nor pleurisy. 

Nor cough nor quinsy, nor the burning fever, 

I rarely feel to a6l his fierce endeavor. 

My sickness in conceit chiefly doth lie; 

What I imagine, that 's my malady. 

Chimeras strange are in my fantasy. 

And things that never were, nor shall I see. 

I love not talk; reason lies not in length. 

Nor multitude of words argues our strength. 

I 've done. Pray, sister Phlegm, proceed in course. 

We shall ezpedl much sound, but little force." 

The Four Humors 55 


« Patient I am, patient I 'd need to be. 

To bear with the injurious taunts of three. 

Though wit I want, and anger I have less. 

Enough of both my wrongs now to express. 

I *ve not forgot how bitter Choler spake. 

Nor how her gall on me she causeless brake; 

Nor wonder *t was, for hatred there 's not small 

Where opposition is diametrical. 

To what is truth I freely will assent. 

Although my name do suffer detriment; 

What 's slanderous, repel; doubtful, dispute; 

And when I 've nothing left to say, be mute. 

Valor I want; no soldier am, 't is true — 

I '11 leave that manly property to you; 

I love no thundering guns, nor bloody wars; 

My polished skin was not ordained for scars. 

But though the pitched field I 've ever fled. 

At home the conquerors have conquered. 

Nay, I could tell you what 's more true than meet. 

That kings have laid their scepters at my feet: 

When sister Sanguine paints my ivory face. 

The monarchs bend and sue but for my grace; 

My lily-white, when joined with her red. 

Princes hath slaved, and captains captiv6d. 

Country with country, Greece with Asia, fights. 

Sixty-nine princes, all stout hero knights. 

56 The Writings of Mrs. Anne Brads tree t 

Under Troy*8 walls ten years will wear away 
Rather than lose one beauteous Helena. 
But 't were as vain to prove this troth of mine 
As at noon-day to tell the sun doth shine* 
Next difference that 'twizt us twain doth lie» 
Who doth possess the brain^ or thou or I? 
Shame forced thee say the matter that was mine» 
But the spirits by which it afts are thine. 
Thou speakest truth, and I can say no lesa; 
Thy heat doth much, I candidly confess. 
Yet without ostentation I may say 
I do as much for thee another way; 
And though I grant thou art my help^ here. 
No debtor I because it *s paid elsewhere. 
With all your flourishes, now, sisters three. 
Who is it that dare, or can, compare with me? 
My excellences are so great, so many, 
I am confounded 'fore I speak of any. 
The brain 's the noblest member, all allow; 
Its form and situation will avow; 
Its ventricles, membranes, and wondrous net 
Galen, Hippocrates, drive to a set. 
That divine offspring, the immortal soul. 
Though it in all and every part be whole. 
Within this stately place of eminence 
Doth doubtless keep its mighty residence. 
And surely the soul sensitive here lives. 
Which life and motion to each creature gives. 

Tbt Faur Human 57 

The conjugation of ihe parts to the brain 

Doth show hence flow the powers which they retain: 

Within this high -built ciudel doth lie 

The reuon, fancy, and the memorj'; 

The faculty of speech doth here abide; 

The spirits animal from hence do slide; 

The five most noble tenses here do dwell — 

Of three it 's hard to say which doth excel. 

This point now to discuss 'longs not to me; 

I MI touch the sight, greatest wonder of the three. 
^The optic nerve, coats, humors, all are mine. 

The watery, glassy, and the crystalline. 

O miiturc strange! O color colorless! 

Thy perfect tempcrameni who can express? 

He wu ao fool who thought tlic sou} lay there 

Whence her affections, passions, speak so clew. 

O good, O bad, O true, O traitorous eyes, 

What wonderment within your balls there lies! 

Of all the senses sight shall be the t^ueen. 
^ Yet some may wish, oh, had mine eyes ne'er seen! 

Mine likewise is the marrow of the back. 

Which runs through all the spondles of the rack; 

It is the substitute of the royal brain; 

All nerves, except seven pair, to it retain. 

And the strong ligaments from hence arise 

Which, joint to joint, the entire body ties. 

Some other parts there issue from the brain. 

Whose worth and use to tell I must refrain; 

58 The fTritrngj of Mrs. Anne Bradstrtit 

Some curious learned Crooke may these reveal. 

But modesty hath charged me to conceal. 

Here 's my epitome of excellence. 

For what 's the brain's is mine by consequence. 

A foolish brain, quoth Choler, wanting heat! 

But a mad one, say I, where 't is too great. 

Phrensy is worse than folly; one would more glad 

With a tame fool converse than with a mad. 

For learning, then, my brain is not the fittest. 

Nor will I yield that Choler is the wittiest; 

Thy judgment is unsafe, thy fancy little. 

For memory the sand is not more brittle. 

Again, none 's fit for kingly state but thou! 

If tyrants be the best, I '11 it allow; 

But if love be as requisite as fear. 

Then thou and I must make a mixture here. 

Well, to be brief, I hope now Choler 's laid. 

And I '11 pass by what sister Sanguine said. 

To Melancholy I '11 make no reply; 

The worst she said was instability 

And too much talk, both which I here confess — 

A warning good; hereafter I '11 say less. 

Let 's now be friends; it 's time our spite were spent. 

Lest we too late this rashness do repent. 

Such premises will force a sad conclusion; 

Unless we agree, all falls into confusion. 

Let Sanguine with her hot hand Choler hold; 

To take her moist my moisture will be bold; 

The Ft»r Humfi 
My cold cold Melancholy 'i hand ahall claap; 
Her dry dry Choler 'j other hand thall gnup: 
Two hot, two moist, two cold, two dry, here be, 
A golden ring, the potey Unity. 
Or jtn or icoSs let none hereafter tee. 
But ill admire our perfed amity; 
Nor be discerned, here 'i Water, Earth, Air, Fire, 
But here so compafl body, whole, entire." 

This loving couniel pleated them all to well 
That Phlegm wat judged, for kindneu, to excel. 


Lo, now four other adl upon the stage: 
Childhood and Youth, the Mjuily and Old Age. 
The first, son unto Phlegm, grand-child to Water, 
Unstable, supple, cold, and moist 's his nature; 
The second. Frolic, claims his pedigree 
From Blood and Air, for hot and moist is he; 
The third of Fire and Choler is composed — 
Vindictive he, and quarrelsome disposed; 
The last of Earth and heavy Melancholy, 
Solid, hating all lightness and all folly. 
"Childhood was clothed in white and green, to show 
His spring was intermixed with some snow; 
'Upon his head nature a garland set 
Of primrose, daisy, and the violet; 
(Such cold, mean flowers the spring puts forth betime 
Before the sun hath throughly heat the clime;) 
His hobby striding, did not ride, but run; 
And in his hand an hour-glass new begun 
In danger every moment of a fall — 
And when 't is broke then ends his life and all. 


Tbt Fmt Agti 6 1 

But if he hold tiU it have ran in \u,t. 

Then may he live oat threescore yean or past. 

Next Youth cune op in gorgeoiu attire, 

Ai that fond age doth moit of all deure. 

Hit nut of crinuon, and hii icarf of green. 

His pride in hii connteoance was qaickly seen; 

Garland of rosea, pinks, and gillyflowen 

Seemed on his head to grow, bedewed with showers; 

His &ce as &esh as is Aurora fair 

When, blushing, she first begins to light the air; 

No wooden horse, bat one of mettle tried. 

He seems to fly or swim, and not to ride; 

Then, prancing on the stage, about he wheels — 

But aj he went death waited at his heels. 

The next came up in a much graver sort. 

As one that car£d for a good report; 

His sword by his side, and choler in his eyes, 

But neither used as yet, for he was wise; 

Of autumn's fruits a basket on his arm. 

His golden god in his purge, which was his charm. 

And last of all to aA upon this stage. 

Leaning upon his staff, came up Old Age. 

Under his arm a sheaf of wheat he bore. 

An harvest of the best. What needs he more? 

In his other hand a glass e'en almost run. 

Thus writ about," This oat, tbtn am I dant." 

His hoary hairs and grave aspefl made way. 

And all gsve ear to what he had to say. 

62 The Writings of Mrs, Anne Bradstreet 

These being met, each in his equipage. 
Intend to speak according to their age; 
But wise Old Age did with all gravity 
To childish Childhood give precedency. 
And to the rest his reason mildly told — 
That he was young before he grew so old. 
To do as he each one full soon assents. 
Their method was that of the Elements — 
That each should tell what of himself he knew. 
Both good and bad, but yet no more than 's true. 
With heed now stood three ages of frail man 
To hear the child, who, crying, thus began. 


"Ah, me! conceived in sin, and born with sorrow, 
A nothing, here to-day and gone to-niorrow. 
Whose mean beginning blushing can't reyeal. 
But night and darkness must with shame conceal! 
My mother's breeding sickness I will spare. 
Her nine months' weary burden not declare; 
To show her bearing pains I should do wrong. 
To tell those pangs which can't be told by tongue. 
With tears into the world I did arrive; 
^My mother still did waste as I did thrive. 
Who yet, with love and all alacrity. 
Spending, was willing to be spent for me. 
With wayward cries I did disturb her rest. 
Who sought still to appease me with the breast; 

The FtKT Jgts 63 

With yreary limb* she danced and "By, By," sung. 

When wretched I, ingratc, had done the wrong. -^ ( 

When infancy was pait, my chilcUthnen ~" ' 

Did n& dl folly that it could ezpreu; 

My sillinesi did only take delight 

In that which riper age did »com and (light — 

In rattles, baubles, and inch toytah staff. 

My then unbitions thoughts were low enough; 

My high-bom soul so straitly wu confined 

That its own worth it did not know nor mind; 

This little house of flesh did spacious count. 

Through ignorance all troubles did surmount. 

Yet this advantage had mine ignorance — 

Freedom from envy and from arrogance. 

How to be rich or great ! did not cark; 

A baron or a duke ne'er made my mark. 

Nor sradious was kings' favors how to buy 

With costly presents or base fiattery; 

No office coveted, wherein I might 

Make strong myself and turn aside weak right; 

No malice bore to this or that great peer. 

Nor unto buzzing whisperers gave ear. 

I gave no hand nor vote for death or life; 

I 'd naught to do 'twiit king and people's strife; 

No statist I, nor martialisi in the field; 

Where'er I went, mine innocence was shield. 

My quarrels not for diadems did rise. 

But for an apple, plum, or some such prize; 


64 The Writings of Mrs. Anne Bradstreet 

My strokes did cause no blood, no wounds or scars; 

My little wrath did end soon as my wars; 

My duel was no challenge, nor did seek 

My foe should weltering in his bowels reek. 

I had no suits at law neighbors to vex. 

Nor evidence for lands did me perplex. 

I feared no storms, nor all the wind that blows; 

I had no ships at sea, nor freights to lose. 

I feared no drought nor wet — I had no crop; 

Nor yet on future things did set my hope. 

This was mine innocence. But, ah! the seeds 

Lay rak^d up of all the cursed weeds. 

Which sprouted forth in mine ensuing age. 

As he can tell that next comes on the stage. 

But yet let me relate, before I go. 

The sins and dangers I am subject to. 

Stained from birth with Adam's sinful fact. 

Thence I began to sin as soon as act: 

A perverse will, a love to what *s forbid, 

A serpent's sting in pleasing face lay hid; 

A lying tongue as soon as it could speak. 

And fifth commandment I do daily break; 

Oft stubborn, peevish, sullen, pout and cry. 

Then naught can please, and yet I know not why. 

As many are my sins, so dangers, too; 

For sin bringa sorrow, sickness, deaths and woe; 

And though I miss the tossings of the mind. 

Yet griefs in my frail flesh I still do find. 

Tkt Feur Ages 

What gripe* of wind mine infancy did piin! 
What tomirei I in breeding teeth sustain! 
What crudicieg my stomach cold haih bred. 
Whence vomits, flax, and worms have issufd! 
What breaches, knocks, and falls I daily hiTC, 
And tome perhaps I 'II carry to my grave; 
Sometimei in fire, sometimes in water, fill. 
Strangely preserved, yet mind ii not ai all. 
At home, abroad, my dangers manifold 
That wonder 'i is my glass till now doth hold. 
I *ve done; unto my elders I give way; 
For 'I is but little that a child can say. 


My goodly clothing and my beauteous skin 
Declare some greater riches are within. 
But what is best I Ml first present to view. 
And then the worst in a more ugly hue. ' 
For thus to do we on this stage assemble; 
Then let not him that hath most craft dissemble. 
My education and my learning such 
As might myself and others profit much: 
With nurture trained up in virtue's schools. 
Of science, arts, and tongues I know the rules; 
The manners of the court I also know. 
And so likewise what they in the country do. 
The brave attempts of valiant knights I prize 
That dare scale walls and forts reared to the skies; 


/ • » • ■ ^ ^^ • . :• V f (. . , . 

J.- '.^ 

66 The Writings of Mrs. Anne Bradstreet 

The snorting horse^ the trumpet^ drum, I like. 

The glittering sword, the pistol, and the pike. 

I cannot lie intrenched before a town. 

Nor wait till good success our hopes doth crown. 

I scorn the heavy corselet, musket-proof; 

I fly to catch the bullet that 's aloof. 

Though thus in field, at home, to all most kind. 

So aflable that I can suit each mind, 

I can insinuate into the breast. 

And by my mirth can raise the heart depressed. 

Sweet music wraps my brave, harmonious soul; 

My high thoughts elevate beyond the pole; 

My wit, my bounty, and my courtesy 

Make all to place their future hopes on me. 

This is my best; but youth is known, alas. 

To be as wild as is the snuffing ass. 

As vain as froth or vanity can be. 

That who would see vain man may look on me: 

My gifts abused, my education lost. 

My woeful parents' longing hopes are crossed; 

My wit evaporates in merriment; 

My valor in some beastly quarrel 's spent. 

My lust doth hurry me to all that 's ill. 

I know no law nor reason but my will. — 

Sometimes lay wait to take a wealthy purse. 

Or stab the man in his own defence — that 's worse. 

Sometimes I cheat, unkind, a female heir 

Of all at once, who, not so wise as fair. 

Tit F$*r Jgts 67 

Tnuteth mj lonng looks and glozing tongue 

Undl her friend*, treuurc, honor, are gone.^^ 

Sometimes I lit cvoiuing otbcn' health 

Until mine own be gone, my wit, and wealth; 

Prom pipe to pot, from pot to word* and blows, — 

For he that loveth wine wanteth no woes, — 

Whole night! with ruffian*, roarers, fiddlers, ipend. 

To all obscenity mine ears I lend; 

All counsel hate which tend* to make me wise, ^ > 

And dearest friends count fr>r mine enemies. 

If any care I take, 'I is to be fine; 

For sore my suits more than my rirtncs shine. 

If time fr^im lewd companions I can spare, 

*T is spent to curl and pounce my new-bought hair. 

Some new Adonis I do strive to be; 

Ssrdaiuipalus now survives in me. ^^ 

Cards, dice, and oaths concomitant I love; 

To plays, ijijnuks, 10 taverns, still I move. 

And in a word, if what I am you M hear. 

Seek out a British brutish cavalier: 

Such wretch, such monster, am I; but yet more — 

I have no heart at all this to deplore; 

Remembering not the dreadful day of doom, / 

Nor yet that heavy reckoning soon to come. 

Though dsDgers do attend me every hour. 

And ghastly death oft threats me with his power: 

Sometimes by wounds in idle combats taken. 

Sometimes with ague: all my body shaken; 

68 The Writings of Mrs. Anm Bradstreet 

Sometimes by fevers all my moisture drinking. 
My heart lies frying, and mine eyes are sinking. 
Sometimes the quinsy, painful pleurisy. 
With sad affrights of death doth menace me; 
Sometimes the two-fold pox me sore bemars 
With outward marks and inward loathsome scars; 
Sometimes the frenzy strangely mads my brain. 
That oft for it in bedlam I remain. 
Too many my diseases to recite. 
The wonder is I yet behold the light; 
That yet my bed in darkness is not made. 
And I in black oblivion's den now laid — 
Of aches my bones are full, of woe my heart 
Clapped in that prison never thence to start. 
Thus I have said; and what I 've been, yon see. 
Childhood and Youth are vain, yea, vanity. 


Childhood and Youth, forgot, I 've sometime seen. 
And now am grown more staid who have been green. 
What they have done, the same was done by me; 
As was their praise or shame, so mine must be. 
Now age is more, more good yon may ezpe£l; 
But more mine age, the more is my defe£l. 
When my wild oats were sown, and ripe, and mown, 
I then received an harvest of mine own. 
My reason then bade judge how little hope 
My empty seed should yield a better crop. 

Tif FtMT 4gfi 69 

Then with both hmixli I gruped the world together, 
Thiu oat of one extreme into another; 
Bni yet Uid hold on virtue leemingly — 
Who dimbi without hold, climb* dangerously. 
Be my condition mean, I then take pains 
My family to keep, but not for gains. 
A father I, for children miut provide; 
Bat if none, then for kindred near allied. 
If rich, I *m urged then to gather more 
To bear a pan in the world, and feed the poor. 
If noble, then mine honor to maintain; 
If not, richct nobility can gain. 
For time, for place, likewise for each relation, 
I wanted not my ready allegation. 
Yet all my powers for self ends are not spent; 
For hundreds bless me for my bounty lent 
Whose backs I 've cloihed and bellies I have fed 
With mine own fleece and with my household bread. 
Yea, justice have I done; was I in place 
To cheer the good, and wicked to deface. 
The proud I crushed, the oppressed I set free. 
The liars curbed, but nourished verity. 
Was I a pastor, I my flock did feed. 
And gently led the lambs as they had need. 
A captain I, with skill I trained my band. 
And showed them how in face of foes to stand. 
A soldier I, with speed I did obey 
As readily as could my leader say. 

70 The Writings of Mrs, Anne Bradstreet 

Was I a laborer^ I wrought all day 
As cheerfully as e'er I took my pay. 

<Thus hath mine age in all sometimes done well; 
Sometimes again mine age been worse than hell — 
In meanness, greatness, riches, poverty. 
Did toil, did broil, oppressed, did steal and lie. 
Was I as poor as poverty could be. 
Then baseness was companion unto me. 
Such scum as hedges and highways do yield. 
As neither sow, nor reap, nor plant, nor build. 
If to agriculture I was ordained. 
Great labors, sorrows, crosses, I sustained. 
The early cock did summon but in vain 
My wakeful thoughts up to my painful gain. 
My weary beast rest from his toil can find; 
But if I rest the more distressed my mind. 
If happiness my sordidness hath found, 
'T was in the crop of my manured ground. 
My thriving cattle and my new milch cow. 
My fleeced sheep, and fruitful farrowing sow. 
To greater things I never did aspire; 

y My dunghill thoughts or hopes could reach no higher. 
If to be rich or great it was my fate. 
How was I broiled with envy and with hate! 
Greater than was the greatest, was my desire. 
And thirst for honor set my heart on fire; 
And by ambition's sails I was so carried 
That over flats, and sands, and rocks I hurried — 

Ttf FtMT Agti 7 

OpprcMcd, and tank, tnd tured all in my my 

That did oppote me to my longed bay. 

My ihini wai higher than nobility — 

I oft longed lore to tatte of royalty. 

Then kinp mut be depoMd or pat to flight, 

I might pouen that throne which wa* their right; 

There act, I rid myielf ttnight ont of hand 

Of pich compctitora a* might in time withitand. 

Then thought my state firm founded, anre to laat. 

But in a trice 'I ii ruined by ■ blast; 

Though cemented with more than noble blood. 

The bottom naught, and lo no loiter stood. 

Sometimes rain glory is the only bait 

Whereby my empty soul is lared and caught. 

Be I of wit, of learning, and of parts, 

I judge I should have room in all men's hearts. 

And envy gnaws if any do surmount: 

I hate not to be held in highest account. 

If, Bias like, I 'm stripped unto my skin, 

I glory in my wealth I have within. 

Thus good and bad, and what I am, you see. 

Now, in a word, what my diseases be: 

The vexing stone in bladder and in reins; 

The strangury torments me with sore pains; 

The windy colic oft my bowels rend 

To break ihc darksome prison where it *s penned; 

The cramp and gout do[h sadly torture me. 

And the restraining lame sciatica; 

72 The Writings of Mrs, Anne Br ads tr at 

The asthma^ megrim^ palsy, lethargy. 
The quartan ague, dropsy, lunacy: 
Subject to all distempers, that 's the truth. 
Though some more incident to Age or Youth. 
And to conclude I may not tedious be: 
Man at his best estate is vanity. 


What you have been, e'en such have I before; 
And all you say, say I, and somewhat more. 
Babe's innocence. Youth's wildness, I have seen. 
And in perplexed Middle Age have been; 
Sickness, dangers, anxieties, have passed. 
And on this stage am come to a£l my last. 
I have been young, and strong, and wise as you. 
But now Bis pueri senes is too true. 
In every age I 've found much vanity; 
An end of all perfeftion now I see. 
It 's not my valor, honor, nor my gold 
My ruined house, now falling, can uphold; 
It's not my learning, rhetoric, wit so large 
Hath now the power death's warfare to discharge; 
It's not my goodly state, nor bed of down. 
That can refresh or ease if conscience frown; 
Nor from alliance can I now have hope. 
But what I have done well, that is my prop. 
He that in youth is godly, wise, and sage 
Provides a staff then to support his age. 

The Four Agli 73 

Muttdons great, some joyful and some sad. 

In this short pilgrimage I ofi have had. 

Sometimes the heayenj with plenty smiled on me; 

Somelimes, again, rained all adversity; 

Sometimes in hoDor, jomctimcs in disgrace; 

Someiimes an abje£t, then again in place. 

Such private changes oft mine eyes have teen. 

In various times of state I 've also been: 

I 've Been a kingdom flourish like a tree, 

Whei> ii was ruled by that celestial she. 

And, like a cedar, others so surmount 

That but for shrubs they did themselves account. 

Then saw I France and Holland saved, Calais won. 

And Philip and Alberius half undone. 

I saw all peace at home, terror to foes. 

But, ah! I saw at last those eyes to close; 

And then methought the day at noon grew dark 

When it had lost that radiant sun-like spark. 

In midst of griefs I saw our hopes revive. 

For 't was our hopes then kept our hearti alive. 

We changed our queen for king, under whose rayi 

We joyed in many blest and prosperous days. 

1 *ve seen a prince, the glory of our land. 

In prime of youth seized by heaven's angry hand. 

Which filled our hearts with fears, with tears our eyes. 

Wailing his fate and our own destinies. 

I 've seen from Rome an execrable thing — 

A plot to blow up nobles and their king; 

74 The Writings of Mrs. Ann$ Bradstrnt 

But saw their horrid fa£l soon disappointed. 

And land and nobles saved, with their anointed. 

I 've princes seen to live on others' lands; 

A royal one by gifts from strangers' hands 

Admired for their magnanimity. 

Who lost a princedom and a monarchy. 

I 've seen designs for Re and Rochelle crossed. 

And poor Palatinate forever lost. 

I 've seen unworthy men advanced high. 

And better ones suffer extremity; 

But neither favor, riches, title, state. 

Could length their days or once reverse their fate — 

I 've seen one stabbed, and some to lose their heads. 

And others flee, struck both with guilt and dread. 

I 've seen, and so have you, for 't is but late. 

The desolation of a goodly state. 

Plotted and adled so that none can tell 

Who gave the counsel but the prince of hell — 

Three hundred thousand slaughtered innocents 

By bloody popish, hellish miscreants. 

Oh, may you live, and so you will, I trust. 

To see them swill in blood until they burst. 

I 've seen a king by force thrust from his throne. 

And an usurper subtilely mount thereon. 

I 've seen a state unmolded, rent in twain; 

But you may live to see it made up again. 

I 've seen it plundered, taxed, and soaked in blood; 

But out of evil you may see much good. 

Tb* F»Mr Jgei 75 

Wbai ire my thought* thii U 00 time to lajr. 

Men may more freely ipetk another day. 

Thoe are no old-wiret' tales, but this is truth; 

We old men lore to tell what was done in youth, 
^But I return irom whence t stepped awry. 

My memory is bad, my brain is dry; 

Mine almond tree, gray hairs, do flourish now. 

And back, once straight, apace begins to bow; 

My grioden now are few, my tight doth fail. 

My skin it wrinkled, and my cheekt are pale. 
''No more rejoice at mutic*s pleuing noise. 

Bat. waking, glad to hear the cock's shrill voice. 

I cannot scent savors of pleasant meat. 

Nor sapors find in what I drink or eat. 

My arms and hands, once strong, have lost their might; 

I cannot labor, much less can 1 fight. 

My comely legs, once nimble as [he roe. 

Now stiff' and numb can hardly creep or go. 

My heart, sometime as lierce as lion bold. 

Now trembling is, ail feartul, sad, and cold. 
^ My golden bowl and silver cord ere long 

Shall both be broke by recking death so strong: 
'- Then shall I go whence I shall come no more. 

Sons, nephews, leave my farewell to deplore. 

In pleasures and in labors I have found 

That earth can give no consolation sound 

To great, to rich, to poor, to young, to old. 

To mean, to noble, to fearful, or to bold: 

76 The Writings of Mrs. Anne Braistrut 

From king to beggar, all degrees shall find 
But vanity, vexation of the mind. 
Yea, knowing much, the pleasantest life of all 
Hath yet among those sweets some bitter gall: 
Though reading others' works doth much refresh. 
Yet studying much brings weariness to the flesh. 
My studies, labors, readings, all are done. 
And my last period now e'en almost run. 
Corrupti5n my father I do call. 
Mother and sisters both the worms that crawl. 
In my dark house such kindred I have store 
Where I shall rest till heavens shall be no more. 
And when this flesh shall rot and be consumed. 
This body by this soul shall be assumed. 
And I shall see with these same very eyes 
My strong Redeemer coming in the skies. 
Triumph I shall o'er sin, o'er death, o'er hell. 
And in that hope I bid you all farewell. 



Another four t 've left yet to bring on. 
Of ibnr times four the laii quaternion. 
The Winter, Summer, Antomn, snd the Spring; 
In season oil these teuoat I shall bring. 
Sweet Spring, like man in his minority. 
At present claimed and had priority. 
With smiling face, and garments somewhat green. 
She trimmed her locks, which late had frosted been; 
Nor hot nor cold she spake, but with a breath 
Fit lo revive the numbed earth from death. 
"Three monihs," quoth she, "are allotted to my 

March, April, May of all the rest most fair. 

Tenth of the first, Sol into Aries enters. 

And bids defiance to all tedious winters; 

Crosses the line, and equals night and day; 

Still adds to the last till after pleasant May; 

And now makes glad the darkened northern wights 

Who for some months have seen but starry lights. 

78 The Writings of Mrs, Anne Bradstreet 

Now goes the plowman to his merry toil 
He might unloose his winter-locked soil. 
The seedsman, too, doth lavish out his grain 
In hope the more he casts the more to gain. 
The gardener now superfluous branches lops. 
And poles ere£b for his young clambering hops; 
Now digs, then sows his herbs, his flowers, and roots. 
And carefully manures his trees of fruits. 
The Pleiades their influence now give. 
And all that seemed as dead afresh do live: 
The croaking frogs, whom nipping winter killed. 
Like birds now chirp and hop about the field. 
The nightingale, the blackbird, and the thrush 
Now tune their lays on sprays of every bush. 
The wanton frisking kids and soft-fleeced lambs 
Do jump and play before their feeding dams; 
The tender tops of budding grass they crop; 
They joy in what they have, but more in hope — 
For though the frost hath lost his binding power. 
Yet many a fleece of snow and stormy shower 
Doth darken Sol's bright eye, makes us remember 
The pinching north-west wind of cold December. 
My second month is April, green and fair. 
Of longer days, and a more temperate air. 
The sun in Taurus keeps his residence. 
And with his warmer beams glanceth from thence. 
This is the month whose fruitful showers produces 
All set and sown for all delights and uses. 

Tbi FtMr StMiMi 79 

The pear, the plum, and applC'tree now flouriih; 

The gnui grow* long the hungry beait to nonriih. 

The prunroM pate and azure riolet 

Among the veiduroui grau hath nature tet. 

That when the aun on his love — the ctrth — doth ihine 

Theie might ai lace let out her pnneni fine. 

The fearful bird hit little hou*e now builds 

In tree* and wallt, in ettiet and in fieldi; 

The outside strong, the inside warm and neat — 

A natund artificer complete. 

The clucking hen her chirping chickens leads; 

With wings and beak defends them from the gleads. 

My next and last is fniitfiil pleasant May, 

Wherein the earth is clad in rich array. 

The sun now enters loving Gemini, 

And heats us with the glances of his eye; 

Our thicker raiment makes us lay aside. 

Lest by his fervor we be torrefied. 

All flowers the sun now with his beams discloses 

Except the double pinks and matchless roses. 

Now swarms the busy, witty honey-bee. 

Whose praise deserves a p>age from more than me. 

The cleanly housewife's dairy 's now in the prime. 

Her shelves and firkins filled for winter-time. 

The meads with cowslips, honeysuckles, dlght. 

One hangs his head, the other stands upright; 

But both rejoice at heaven's dear smiling face. 

More at her showers, which water them a space. 

8o The Writings of Mrs. Anne Bradstreet 

For fruits my season yields the early cherry. 

The hasty pea^ and wholesome cool strawberry. 

More solid fruits require a longer time; 

Each season hath his fruit, so hath each clime — 

Each man his own peculiar excellence. 

But none in all that hath preeminence." 

Sweet fragrant Spring, with thy short pittance fly. 

Let some describe thee better than can I. 

Yet above all this privilege is thine. 

Thy days still lengthen without least decline. 


When Spring had done, then Sunmier did begin. 
With melted, tawny face and garments thin. 
Resembling Fire, Choler, and Middle Age, 
As Spring did Air, Blood, Youth in his equipage. 
Wiping the sweat from off her face that ran. 
With hair all wet, puffing, she thus began: 
** Bright June, July, and August hot are mine. 
In the first Sol doth in crabbed Cancer shine; 
His progress to the north now's fully done; 
Then retrograde must be my burning sun. 
Who to his southward tropic still is bent. 
Yet doth his parching heat but more augment 
Though he decline, because his flames so ^r 
Have throughly dried the earth and heat the air. 

The Fear SeastnJ 8 1 

Like as sn oven thil long time hath been heat. 
Whose vehemency at length doth grow so great 
That if you do withdraw her burnifig sldtc 
'T is for a lime as fervent as before. 
Now go ihose frolic swains, the ahepherd lads. 
To wash (heir thick-clothcd flocts, with pipes fill! glad. 
Id the cool streams they labor with delight. 
Rubbing the dirty coats till they look while. 
Whose fleece when finely spun and deeply dyed 
With robes theieof kings have been dignilied. 
Blest rustic swains, your pleasant, (juiet life 
Math envy bred in kings that were at strife; 
Careless of worldly wealth you sing and pipe. 


oiled LI 



Which made great Bajazet cry out in his woes, 

' O happy shepherd, which hath not to lose 

Orihobulus, nor yet Sebastia great. 

But whisdeth to thy flock in cold and heat; 

Viewing the sun by day, the moon by night, 

Endymion's, Diana's, dear delight; 

Upon the grass resting your healthy limb. 

By purling brooks looking how fishes swim. 

If pride within your lowly cells e'er haunt. 

Of Him that was Shepherd, then King, go vaunt.' 

This month the roses are distilled in glasses. 

Whose fragrant smell all made perfumes surpasses. 

The cherry, gooseberry, now are in their prime. 

And for all sorts of pease this is the time. 

82 The Writings of Mrs. Anne Bradstreet 

July 's my next, the hottest in all the year. 
The sun through Leo now takes his career. 
Whose flaming breath doth melt us from afar. 
Increased by the star canicular. 
This month from Julius Caesar took its name. 
By Romans celebrated to his fame. 
Now go the mowers to their slashing toil. 
The meadows of their riches to despoil; 
With weary strokes they take all in their way. 
Bearing the burning heat of the long day. 
The forks and rakes do follow them amain. 
Which makes the aged fields look young again. 
The groaning carts do bear away this prize 
To stacks and barns, where it for fodder lies. 
My next and last is August, fiery hot. 
For much the southward sun abateth not. 
This month he keeps with Virgo for a space; 
The dried earth is parched with his face. 
August of great Augustus took its name, 
Rome's second emperor, of lasting fame. 
With sickles now the bending reapers go 
The ruffling tress of terra down to mow. 
And bundle up in sheaves the weighty wheat 
Which, after, manchet makes for kings to eat. — 
The barley, rye, and pease should first had place. 
Although their bread have not so white a face. 
The carter leads all home with whistling voice; 
He plowed with pain, but, reaping, doth rejoice; 

Tbi Ftur SMiMs 8; 

HU iweil, hit toil, his careiiil, wikefiil nightt. 
Hit fruitful crop ■bundtntly requitet. 
Now '■ rip« the pcir, pesr-plum, ind ipricock. 
The prince of plums, whoie itone'i at hard as rock.*' 

The Sommer leems but short; the Autumn hutea 
To shake his fruits, of most delicious laties, 
LJke good Old Age, whose younger juicy roots 
Hath still ascended to bear goodly fruits 
Until his head be gray and atrength be gone. 
Yet then appear the worthy deeds he hath done: 
To feed his bouglu exhausted he his tap. 
Then dropped his fruits into the eater's lap. 

" Of Autumn's months September is the prime; 
Now day and night are equal in each clime. 
The twelfth of this Sol riseth in the line. 
And doth in poising Libra this month shine. 
The vintage now is ripe; the grapes are pressed. 
Whose lively liquor oft is cursed and blessed. 
For naught so good but it may be abused; 
But it 's a precious juice when well it 's used. 
The raisins now in clusters dried be. 
The orange, lemon, dangle on the tree; 
The pomegranate, the fig, are ripe also. 
And apples now their yellow sides do show. 

84 The fFritings of Mrs. Anne Bradstreet 

Of almonds, quinces, wardens, and the peach 

The season 's now at hand of all and each. 

Sure at this time time first of all began. 

And in this month was made apostate man; 

For then in Eden was not only seen 

Boughs full of leaves, or fruits unripe or green. 

Or withered stocks which were all dry and dead. 

But trees with goodly fruits replenished; 

Which shows nor Summer, Winter, nor the Spring 

Our grandsire was of Paradise made king. 

Nor could that temperate clime such difierence 

If sited as the most judicious take. 
October is my next. We hear in this 
The northern winter-blasts begin to hiss. 
In Scorpio resideth now the sun. 
And his declining heat is almost done. 
The fruitless trees all withered now do stand. 
Whose sapless yellow leaves by winds are fanned. 
Which notes when youth and strength have passed 

their prime 
Decrepit age must also have its time. 
The sap doth slyly creep towards the earth. 
There rests until the sun give it a birth. 
So doth Old Age still tend unto his grave. 
Where also he his winter-time must have; 
But when the Sun of Righteousness draws nigh. 
His dead old stock shall mount again on high. 

Tbt Fnr StditMi i$ 

November ii my lut, for time doth hatte. 

We now of Winter'i iharpnett 'gin to taue. 

Thi> month the nm 'i in Si^turiui, 

So ftr remote hit gUncei warm not ui. 

Almost at ihortcM ii the ihortened day. 

The Northern Pole beholdeth not one ray. 

Now Greenland (GrSnland), Finland, Lapland, see 

No suD to lighten their obscurity — 

Poor wretches that in total darknctt lie. 

With mindi more dark than it the darkened iky. 

Beef, brawn, and pork arc now in great request. 

And solid meats our stomachs can digest. 

This lime warm clothes, fiill diet, and good fire 

Our pinched flesh and hungry maws require. 

Old, cold, dry Age and Earth Autumn resembles. 

And Melancholy, which most of all dissembles. 

I must be short, and short 's the shortened day. 

What Winter hath to tell, now let him say." 

»' INTER. 

Cold, moist, young phlcgmy Winter now doth lie 

In swaddling clouts, like new-born infancy; 

Bound up with frosts, and furred with hail and snows. 

And, like an infant, still he taller grows. 

" December is my first, and now the sun 

To the southward tropic his swift race doth run. 

This month he's housed in horned Capricorn; 

From thence begins to length the shortened morn. 

86 The Writings of Mrs. Anne Bradstreet 

Through Christendom with great festivity 
Now 's held a guessed but blest Nativity. 
Coldy frozen January next comes in. 
Chilling the blood and shrinking up the skin. 
In Aquarius now keeps the long wished sun. 
And northward his unwearied course doth run; 
The day much longer than it was before. 
The cold not lessened, but augmented more. 
Now toes, and ears, and fingers often freeze. 
And travelers their noses sometimes leese. 
Moist, snowy February is my last. 
I care not how the winter-time doth haste. 
In Pisces now the golden sun doth shine. 
And northward still approaches to the line. 
The rivers begin to ope, the snows to melt. 
And some warm glances from his face are felt; 
Which is increased by the lengthened day. 
Till by his heat he drive all cold away," 

And thus the year in circle runneth round. 

Where first it did begin, in the end it 's found. 

My subjed 's bare, my brain is bad. 

Or better lines you should have had. 

The first fell in so naturally, 

I knew not how to pass it by; 

The last, though bad, I could not mend. 

Accept, therefore, of what is penned. 

And all the faults that you shall spy 

Shall at your feet for pardon cry. 






When time was young, and the world in infancy, 
Man did not proudly strive for sovereignty; 
But each one thought his petty rule was high 
If of his house he held the monarchy. 
This was the Golden Age; but after came 
The boisterous son of Cush. grandchild to Ham, 
That mighty hunter who in his strong toils 
Both beasts and men subjeflcd to his spoils, 
The strong foundation of proud Babel laid, 
Erech, Accad, and Catneh also made. 
These were his first; all stood in Shtnar land. 
From thence he went Assyria to command. 
And mighty Nineveh he there begun. 
Not finished till he his race had run; 
Resen. CaUh, and Rehoboth, likewise. 
By him to ci 

88 The Writings of Mrs. Anne Bradstrtet 

Of Saturn he was the original. 
Whom the succeeding times a god did call. 
When thus with rule he had been dignified. 
One hundred fourteen years he after died. 


Great Nimrod dead, Belus the next, his son. 
Confirms the rule his father had begun; 
Whose a6b and power are not for certainty 
Left to the world by any history. 
But yet this blot for ever on him lies — 
He taught the people first to idolize. 
Titles divine he to himself did take. 
Alive and dead a god they did him make. 
This is that Bel the Chaldees worshiped. 
Whose priests in stories oft are mentioned; 
This is that Baal to whom the Israelites 
So oft profanely offered sacred rites; 
This is Beelzebub, god of Ekronites; 
Likewise Baalpeor, of the Moabites. 
His reign was short, for, as I calculate. 
At twenty-five ended his regal date. 


His father dead, Ninus begins his reign. 
Transfers his seat to the Assyrian plain. 
And mighty Nineveh more mighty nude 
Whose foundation was by his grandsire laid: 

The Four Mom 

Four hundred forty furlongs walled iboul, 
Od which stood fiflecn hundred cowera stout; 
The walU one hundred sixcy feet upright, 
So broad three chariots run abreut there might. 
UpoD the pleasant banks of Tigris' flood 
This i\itt.\j seat of warlike Ninus stood. 
This Ninus for a god his father canonized. 
To whom [he sottish people sacriiiced. 
This tyrant did his neighbon all oppress; 
Where'er he warred he had too good success — 
Barzanes, the great Armenian king. 
By force and fraud did under tribute bring; 
The Median country he did also gain, 
Pharnus, their king, he caused to be jlain; 
Ad army of three millions he led out 
Against the Baflrians (but that I doubt); 
Zoroaster, their king, he likewise slew. 
And all the greater Asia did subdue. 
Semiramis from Meoon did he take; 
Then drowned himself did Menon for her sake. 
Fifty-two years he reigned, as we are told. 
The world then was two thousand nineteen old. 


This great oppressing Ninus dead and gone. 
His wife Semiramis usurped the throne; 
She like a brave virago played the rex. 
And was both shame and glory of her sex. 

90 The Writings of Mrs, Anne Braistreet 

Her birthplace was Philistia's Ascalon, 

Her mother Derccto, a courtezan. — 

Others report she was a vestal nun 

Adjudged to be drowned for the crime she M done. 

Transformed into a fish by Venus* will. 

Her beauteous face, they feign, retaining still. 

Sure from this fidion Dagon first began. 

Changing the woman's face into a man. 

But all agree that from no lawfiil bed 

This great renowned empress issued; 

For which she was obscurely nourished — 

Whence rose that fable she by birds was fed. 

This gallant dame unto the Ba£trian war 

Accompanying her husband Menon far. 

Taking a town such valor she did show 

That Ninus amorous of her soon did grow. 

And thought her fit to make a monarch's wife. 

Which was the cause poor Menon lost his life. 

She flourishing with Ninus long did reign. 

Till her ambition caused him to be slain 

That, having no compeer, she might rule all. 

Or else she sought revenge for Menon' s fall. 

Some think the Greeks this slander on her cast. 

As on her life licentious and unchaste; 

That, undeserved, they blurred her name and fame 

By their aspersions cast upon the same. 

But were her virtues more or less or none. 

She for her potency must go alone. 

Tie Ftur MtMsrebiti 9 

Her wealth ihc ihowed in building Babjrlon, 

Admired ofsll, but equalized of none; 

The wall to strong and curiously wu wrought. 

Thai after ages skill by it wai aught. 

With tower* and bulwarks made of costly stone, 

Qoadnngle was the form it stood upon. 

Each square was fifteen thousand paces long. 

An hundred gates it had of metal strong. 

Three hundred sixty feet the wall in height. 

Almost incredible it was in breadth — 

Some writers say six chariots might a-front 

With great facility march safe upon 't. 

About the wall a ditch so deep and wide 

That like a river long it did abide; 

Three hundred thousand men here day by day 

Bestowed their Ubor and received their pay. 

And that which did all cost and art exec) 

The wondrous temple was she reared to Bel, 

Which in the midsi of this brave town was placed, 

Continuing till Xerxes it defaced; 

Whose stately top above the clouds did rise, 

From whence astrologers oft viewed the skies. 

This to describe in each particular, 

A structure rare I should but rudely mar. 

Her gardens, bridges, arches, mounts, and spires 

Each eye thai saw or ear that heard admires. 

In Shinsr plain, on the Euphraiean flood. 

This wonder of the world, this Babel, stood. 

92 The Writings of Mrs. Anne Brads tree t 

An expedition to the east she made 
Stratobatis his country to invade. 
Her army of four millions did consist 
(Each may believe it as his fancy list); 
Her camels, chariots, galleys, in such number 
As puzzles best historians to remember. 
But this is wonderful — of all those men 
They say but twenty e'er came back again; 
The river Indus swept them half away. 
The rest Stratobatis in light did slay. 
This was last progress of this mighty queen. 
Who in her country never more was seen. 
The poets feigned her turned into a dove. 
Leaving the world to Venus, soared above; 
Which made the Assyrians many a day 
A dove within their ensigns to display. 
Forty-two years she reigned, and then she died. 
But by what means we are not certified. 


His mother dead, Ninias obtains his right, 

A prince wedded to ease and to delight. 

Or else was his obedience very great 

To sit thus long, obscure, robbed of his seat. 

Some write his mother put his habit on. 

Which made the people think they served her son; 

But much it is, in more than forty years 

This fraud in war nor peace at all appears. 

Tit Fmr MaiiMrebus < 

More like it ii, hi* Imt with pleamirei fed. 

He Moght no rde dll the wu gone and dead. 

What then he did of worth can no man tell. 

Bat u nippOKd to be that Amraphel 

Who warred with Sodom'i and Gamorrah'i king, 

'Gaiiut whom hii trained bandi Abram did bring. 

But thit ia Ixr nnlike, he, being ton 

Unto ■ lather thai all conntriet won. 

So niddealy thoold loie so great a state 

With petty kingi to join confederate. 

Nor can those reasons which wise Raleigh finds 

Well satisfy the most considerate minds. 

We may with learned Usher better say 

He many ago lived after that day; 

And that Scminunis then flourished 

When famous Troy was so beleaguered. 

Whate'er he was, or did, or how it fell. 

We may suggest our thoughts, but cannot tell; 

For Ntnias and all his race are left 

Id deep oblivion, of afls bereft. 

And many hundred years in silence sit. 

Save a few names a new Berosus writ. 

And such as care not what befalls iheir fames 

May feign as many aAs as he did names. 

It may suffice, if all be true that's past. 

To Sardanapalus next we will make haste. 

94 ^^^ Writings of Mrs. Anne Brddstreet 


Sardanapalus, son to Ocrtzapes, 

Who wallowed in all voluptuousness, — 

That palliardizing sot that out of doors 

Ne'er showed his face, but reveled with his whores. 

Did wear their garbs, their gestures imitate. 

And in their kind to excel did emulate, — 

His baseness knowing, and the people's hate. 

Kept close, fearing his well deserved fiite. 

It chanced Arbaces brave unwarily 

His master like a strumpet clad did spy; 

His manly heart disdained in the least 

Longer to serve this metamorphosed beast. 

Unto Belesis then he brake his mind. 

Whom sick of his disease he soon did find. 

These two ruled Media and Babylon; 

Both for their king held their dominidn. 

Belesis promised Arbaces aid, 

Arbaces him fiilly to be repaid. 

The last the Medes and Persians does invite 

Against their monstrous king to use their might. 

Belesis the Chaldeans doth require 

And the Arabians, to further his desire. 

These all agree, and forty thousand make. 

The rule from their unworthy prince to take. 

These forces mustered, and in array, 

Sardanapalus leaves his apish play; 

Thi Four Monarchies 9$ 

And though of wars he did abhor the sight. 

Fear of his diadem did force him fight; 

And either by his valor or his fate 

Arbaces' courage he did so abate 

That in despair he left the field and fled. 

But with fresh hopes Belesis succored. 

From Baftria an army was at hand 

Pressed for this service by the king's conmiand. 

These with celerity Arbaces meets. 

And with all terms of amity them greets; 

With promises their necks now to unyoke. 

And their taxations sore all to revoke; 

To enfranchise them, to grant what they could crave. 

No privilege to want, subjedb should have — 

Only entreats them to join their force with his. 

And win the crown, which was the way to bliss. 

Won by his loving looks, more by his speech. 

To accept of what they could they all beseech. 

Both sides their hearts, their hands, and bands unite. 

And set upon their prince's camp that night; 

Who, reveling in cups, sung care away 

For viftory obtained the other day. 

And now, surprised by this unlooked-for fright. 

Bereft of wits, arc slaughtered downright. 

The king his brother leaves all to sustain. 

And speeds himself to Nineveh amain. 

But, Salmoneus slain, the army falls; 

The king *s pursued unto the city's walls. 

g6 The Writings of Mrs, Anm Bradstreet 

But he once in, pursuers came too late. 

The walls and gates their haste did terminate. 

There with all store he was so well provided 

That what Arbaces did was but derided. 

Who there encamped two years for little end. 

But in the third the river proved his friend; 

For by the rain was Tigris so o'erflown 

Part of that stately wall was overthrown. 

Arbaces marches in, the town he takes. 

For few or none, it seems, resistance makes. 

And now they saw fulfilled a prophecy. 

That when the river proved their enemy 

Their strong walled town should suddenly be taken. 

By this accomplishment their hearts were shaken. 

Sardanapalus did not seek to fly 

This his inevitable destiny; 

But all his wealth and friends together gets. 

Then on himself and them a fire he sets. 

This was last monarch of great Ninus' race. 

That for twelve hundred years had held the place; 

Twenty he reigned, same time, as stories tell. 

That Amaziah was king of Israel. 

His father was then king, as we suppose. 

When Jonah for their sins denounced those woes; 

He did repent, the threatening was not done. 

But now accomplished in his wicked son. 

Arbaces, thus of all becoming lord. 

Ingenuously with all did keep his word. 

The Fetir Monartbies 

Of Babylon Belesis he made king. 

With overplus of all the wealth therein. 

To Baflrians he gave their liberty. 

Of Ninevites he caused none to die. 

But suffered with their goods to go elsewhere. 

Not granting then) now to inhibit there; 

For he demolished that city great. 

And unto Media transferred his seat, 

Sach was his promise which he firmly made 

To Mcdes and Persians when he craved their aid. 

A while he and his race aside must stand. 

Not pertinent to what we have in hand; 

And Belochus in his progeny pursue. 

Who did this monarchy begin anew. 

Belesis settled in his new old seat 
Not so content, but aiming to be great. 
Encroaching still upon the bordering lands 
Till Mesopotamia he got in his hands. 
And, either by compound or else by strength, 
Assyria he gained also at length; 
Then did rebuild destroyed Nineveh, 
A costly work which none could do but he 
Who owned the treasures of proud Babylon 
And those that seemed with Sardanapolus gone. 
For though his palace did in ashes lie, 
The lire chose metals could not damnify; 

98 The Writings of Mrs, Anne Bradstreet 

From rubbish these with diligence he rakes. 

Arbaces suffers all, tnd all he takes. 

He, thus enriched by this new-tried gold« 

Raises a phenix new from grave of the old; 

And from this heap did after ages see 

As fair a town as the first Nineveh. 

When this was built^ and matters all in peace. 

Molests poor Israel, his wealth to increase: 

A thousand talents of Menahem had. 

Who to be rid of such a guest was glad. 

In sacred writ he 's known by name of Pul, 

Which makes the world of difference so full 

That he and Belochus could not one be; 

But circumstance doth prove the verity. 

And times of both computed so fall out 

That these two made but one we need not doubt. 

What else he did his empire to advance 

To rest content we must in ignorance. 

Forty-eight years he reigned, his race then run. 

He left his new-got kingdom to his son. 


Belesis dead, Tiglath, his warlike son. 

Next treads those steps by which his father won. 

Damascus, ancient seat of famous kings. 

Under subje6lion by his sword he brings; 

Rezin, their valiant king, he also slew. 

And Syria to obedience did subdue. 

Jndah'i bad king occasioned this war 

When Rezin's force his borden sore did mtr 

And divers cities hy strong hand did seize. 

To Tiglath then doth Ahaz send for case; 

The temple robs so to filfil his ends. 

And to Assyria's king a present sends. 

" I am thy servant and thy son," quoth he; 

" Prom Rezin and from Pekah set me free." 

Gladly doth Tiglath this advantage take. 

And succors Ahaz, yet for Tiglath's sake. 

Then, Rezin slain, his army overthrown. 

He Syria makes a province of his own. 

Unto Damascus then comes Judah'9 king 

Mis humble thankfulness in haste 10 bring. 

Acknowledging the Assyrian's high desert. 

To whom he ought all loyally of heart. 

But Tiglath, having gained his wished end. 

Proves unco Ahaz but a feigned friend; 

All Israel's lands beyond Jordan he takes, 

In Galilee he woeful havoc mikes. 

Through Syria now he marched; none stopped his way. 

And Ahaz open at his mercy lay. 

Who still implored his love, but was distressed. 

This was that Ahaz who so high transgrciscd. 

Thus Tiglach reigned and warred twenty-seven years. 

Then by his death released were Israel's fears. 

loo The Writings of Mrs. Jnm Bradstrnt 


Tiglath deceased, Salmanassar was next. 

He Israelites more than his father vexed. 

Hosea, their last king, he did invade. 

And him six years his tributary made. 

But, weary of his servitude, he sought 

To Egypt's king, which did avail him naught; 

For Salmanassar, with a mighty host. 

Besieged his regal town, and spoiled his coast. 

And did the people, nobles, and their king 

Into perpetual thraldom that time bring. 

Those that from Joshua's time had been a state 

Did justice now by him eradicate; 

This was that strange, degenerated brood 

On whom nor threats nor mercies could do good. 

Laden with honor, prisoners, and spoil. 

Returns triumphant vidor to his soil; 

He placed Israel there where he thought best. 

Then sent his colonies theirs to invest. 

Thus Jacob's sons in exile must remain. 

And pleasant Canaan never see again. 

Where now those ten tribes are can no man tell. 

Or how they fare, rich, poor, or ill, or well; 

Whether the Indians of the East or West, 

Or wild Tartarians, as yet ne'er blest. 

Or else those Chinese rare, whose wealth and arts 

Have bred more wonder than belief in hearts. 

Ti>e Fanr Mtnartbits lo 

But what or where they ire, yet know we thii — 
They ihdl return, and Sion ice with bliu. 

Sennacherib Sabnanaaur tacceeda, 
Whou haughty heart is ahown in worda and deedi. 
His ware none better than himtelf can boail. 
On Hena, Arpid, and on Judah's coast. 
On Ivah'a and on Sepharraim's gods; 
'Twixt them and Israel's he knew no odds 
Until the thundering hand af heaven he felt. 
Which made hii army into nothing melt. 
With shame he turned to Nineveh again. 
And by his sons in his idols' house was slain. 

Hii son, weak Esarhaddon, reigned in hia place. 
The lifih and last of great Belesis' race. 
Brave Mcrodach, the son of Baladan, 
In Babylon lieutenant to [his man. 
Of opportunity advantage cakes. 
And on his master's ruins his house makes; 
As Belesis his sovereign did unthrone. 
So he ') now styled the king of Babylon. 
After twelve years did Esarhaddon die. 
And Mcrodach assumed the monarchy. 

I02 The Writings of Mrs. Anm Bradstrtii 


All yield to him but Nineveh, kept free 
Until his grandchild made her bow the knee. 
Ambassadors to Hezekiah he sent. 
His health to congratulate with compliment. 

Ben-Merodach, successor to this king^ 
Of him is little said in anything. 
But by conjedure this, that none but he 
Led King Manasseh to captivity. 

Brave Nabopolassar to this king was son. 
The famous Nineveh by him was won; 
For fifty years, or more, she had been free. 
But yields her neck now to captivity. 
A viceroy from her foe she 's glad to accept. 
By whom in firm obedience she 's kept. 
This king 's less famed for all the adb he 's done 
Than being father to so great a son. 


The famous a£b of this heroic king 
Did neither Homer, Hesiod, Virgil, sing; 
Nor of his wars have we the certainty 
From some Thucydides' grave history; 
Nor his metamorphosis from Ovid's book. 
Nor his restoring from old legends took; 

The Fntr MotMrebiis 103 

But by the prophets, penmen most divine. 

This prince in his magnitude doth ever shine. 

This was of monarchies that head of gold. 

The richest and the dreadfullest to behold; 

This was that tree whose branches filled the earth. 

Under whose shadow birds and beasts had birth; 

This was that king of kings did what he pleased. 

Killed, saved, puUed down, set up, or pained, or eased; 

And this was he who, when he feared the least. 

Was changed from a king into a beast. 

This prince the last years of his father's reign 

Against Jehoiakim marched with his train. 

Judah's poor king, besieged and succorless. 

Yields to his mercy, and the present stress; 

His vassal is, gives pledges for his truth. 

Children of royal blood, unblemished youth. 

Wise Daniel and his fellows, 'mongst the rest. 

By the viftorious king to Babel arc pressed; 

The temple of rich ornaments he defaced. 

And in his idols' house the vessels placed. 

The next year he, with unresisted hand. 

Quite vanquished Pharaoh-Necho with his band: 

By great Euphrates did his army fall. 

Which was the loss of Syria withal. 

Then into Egypt Necho did retire. 

Which in few years proves the Assyrian's hire. 

A mighty army next he doth prepare. 

And unto wealthy Tyre in haste repair. 

I04 The Writings of Mrs. Anm Brads treit 

Such was the situation of this place^ 

As might not him, but all the world, oat&ce. 

That in her pride she knew not which to boast — 

Whether her wealth or yet her strength was most. 

How in all merchandise she did excel 

None but the true Ezekiel need to tell; 

And for her strength, how hard she was to gain. 

Can Babel's tired soldiers tell with pain. 

Within an island had this city seat. 

Divided from the main by channel great; 

Of costly ships and galleys she had store. 

And mariners to handle sail and oar. 

But the Chaldeans had nor ships nor skill; 

Their shoulders must their master's mind fulfil — 

Fetched rubbish from the opposite old town. 

And in the channel threw each burden down. 

Where, after many essays, they made at last 

The sea firm land, whereon the army passed 

And took the wealthy town. But all the gain 

Requited not the loss, the toil, and pain. 

Full thirteen years in this strange work he spent 

Before he could accomplish his intent. 

And, though a vidor, home his army leads 

With peeled shoulders and with balded heads. 

When in the Tyrian war this king was hot 

Jehoiakim his oath had clean forgot; 

Thinks this the fittest time to break his bands. 

Whilst Babel's king thus deep engaged stands. 

Tie Faar MtnartbitJ lo; 

But he whoM fortonei all were in the ebb 

Hid ■!! hii hopes like to a spider't web; 

For this great king withdnwi part of hu force. 

To Judah marches with a ipeedy coune. 

And, unezpeded, finds the feeble prince. 

Whom he chastised thgs for his prond offence: 

Fast bound, intend) to Babel him to send, 

Bnt changed his mind, and caused his life there end. 

Then cast him out like to a naked ass. 

For this is he for whom none said Alu! 

Hu son he sofierfd three months to reign. 

Then from his throne he plucked him down a^n; 

Whom, with his mother, he to Babel led. 

And seven and thirty years in prison fed. 

His uncle he established in his place. 

Who was last king of holy David's race; 

But he as perjured as Jehoiakim, 

They lost more now than e'er they lost by him. 

Seven years he kept his faith, and safe he dwells. 

But in the eighth against his prince rebels. 

The ninth came Nebuchadnezzar with power. 

Besieged his city, temple, Sion's tower. 

And after eighteen months he took them all. 

The walls so strong, that stood so long, now fall. 

The accursed king by flight could nowise fly 

His well-deserved and foretold misery; 

But, being caught, to Babel's wrathful king 

With children, wives, and nobles all they bring. 

io6 The Writings of Mrs, Anm Bradstrat 

Where to the sword all but himself were put. 
And with that woeful sight his eyes close shut. 
Ah, hapless man, whose darksome contemplation 
Was nothing but such ghastly meditation ! 
In midst of Babel now till death he lies. 
Yet as was told ne'er saw it with his eyes. 
The temple 's burnt, the vessels had away. 
The towers and palaces brought to decay; 
Where late of harp and lute were heard the noise. 
Now Zim and Jim lift up their screeching voice. 
All now of worth are captive led with tears. 
And sit bewailing Sion seventy years. 
With all these conquests Babel's king rests not. 
No, not when Moab, Edom, he had got; 
Kedar and Hazor, the Arabians, too. 
All vassals, at his hands for grace must sue. 
A total conquest of rich Egypt makes. 
All rule he from the ancient Pharaohs takes; 
Who had for sixteen hundred years borne sway 
To Babylon's proud king now yield the day. 
Then Put and Lud do at his mercy stand; 
Where'er he goes he conquers every land. 
His sumptuous buildings pass all conceit. 
Which wealth and strong ambition made so great. 
His image Judah's captives worship not. 
Although the furnace be seven times more hot. 
His dreams wise Daniel doth expound full well. 
And his unhappy change with grief foretell. 

Tie Fear MtMsrtiiei 

Strange mcUncliol]' huinon on him lay. 
Which for tcven ye«r» his reuon took away; 
Which from no natural ctuaet did proceed, 
Bnt for his pride, lo had the heavens decreed. 
The time expired, he brute remains no more. 
But government resumes u heretofore; 
In splendor and in majesty he sits. 
Contemplating those times he lost his wits. 
And if by words we may guess at the heart. 
This king among the righteous had a part. 
Forty-four years he reigned, which, being run. 
He left his wealth and conquests to his son. 

Babel's great monarch now laid in the dust. 
His son possesses wealih and rule as just. 
And in the first year of his royally 
Easeth Jehoiachin's captivity; 
Poor, forlorn prince, who had ill state forgot. 
In seven and (hirty years had seen no jot. 
Among the conquered kings that there did lie 
Is Judah's Iting now lifted up on high; 
But yet in Babel he must still remain, 
And native Canaan never see again. 
Unlike his father, Evil-Merodach 
Prudence and magnanimity did lack. 
Fair Egypt is by his remissness lost, 
Arabia, and all the bordering coast. 

io8 The Writings of Mrs. Anne Bradstreet 

Wars with the Medes unhappily he waged. 
Within which broils rich Crcrsus was engaged; 
His army routed, and himself there slain. 
His kingdom to Belshazzar did remain. 


Unworthy Belshazzar next wears the crown. 

Whose acts profane a sacred pen sets down; 

His lust and cruelties in stories find — 

A royal state ruled by a brutish mind. 

His life so base and dissolute invites 

The noble Persian to invade his rights; 

Who, with his own and uncle's power, anon 

Lays siege to his regal seat, proud Babylon. 

The coward king, whose strength lay in his walls. 

To banqueting and reveling now falls. 

To show his little dread but greater store. 

To cheer his friends and scorn his foes the more. 

The holy vessels, thither brought long since. 

They caroused in; the sacrilegious prince 

Did praise his gods of metal, wood, and stone, 

Protedors of his crown and Babylon. 

But He, above, his doings did deride. 

And with a hand soon dashed all this pride. 

The king upon the wall casting his eye 

The fingers of a handwriting did spy. 

Which horrid sight he fears must needs portend 

DestrudUon to his crown, to his person end. 

Tie Four Monarcbiis 109 

With quaking knees and heart appalled he cries 
For the soothsayers and magicians wise 
This language strange to read and to unfold; 
With gifts of scarlet robe^ and chain of gold. 
And highest dignity next to the king 
To him that could interpret clear this thing. 
But dumb the gazing astrologers stand. 
Amazed at the writing and the hand. 
None answers the afirighted king intent. 
Who still expedb some fearful sad event. 
As dead, alive he sits, as one undone. 
In comes the queen to cheer her heartless son; 
Of Daniel tells, who in his grandsire's days 
Was held in more account than now he was. 
Daniel in haste is brought before the king. 
Who doth not flatter, nor once cloak the thing; 
Reminds him of his grandsire's height and fall. 
And of his own notorious sins withal — 
His drunkenness, and his profaneness high. 
His pride and sottish gross idolatry. 
The guilty king, with color pale and dead. 
Then hears his "Mene" and his '*Tekel" read; 
And one thing did worthy a king, though late — 
Performed his word to him that told his fate. 
That night victorious Cyrus took the town. 
Who soon did terminate his life and crown. 
With him did end the race of Baladan; 
And now the Persian Monarchy began. 

The end of the Assyrian Monarchy, 

I lo The Writings of Mrs. Anne Bradstreet 


Cyrus, Cambyses' son, of Persia king. 
Whom lady Mandane did to him bring; 
She, daughter unto great Astyages; 
He, in descent, the seventh from Arbaces. 
Cambyses was of Achaemenes' race. 
Who had in Persia the lieutenant's place 
When Sardanapalus was overthrown. 
And from that time had held it as his own. 
Cyrus Darius' daughter took to wife. 
And so unite two kingdoms without strife. 
Darius unto Mandane was brother. 
Adopts her son for his, having no other. 
This is of Cyrus the true pedigree. 
Whose ancestors were royal in degree. 
His mother's dream, and grandsire's cruelty. 
His preservation in his misery. 
His nourishment afforded by a bitch. 
Are fit for such whose ears for fables itch. 
He in his younger days an army led 
Against great Croesus, then of Lydia head; 
Who, over-curious of war's event. 
For information to Apollo went. 

The FtMf Mtntrtbits 1 1 

And the tmbiguous oracle did tnist, — 
So oTCrthrowii by C^nis, u wu just; 
Who him pnnuet to Sardis, takes the town. 
Where all that dare resist are slaughtered down. 
Disguised, Crcesus hoped to escape in the throng, 
Who had no might to save himself from wrong; 
But as he passed, his son, who was bora dumb. 
With pressing grief and sorrow overcome 
Among the tumult, bloodshed, and the strife. 
Broke his long silence, cried, "Spare Crasos' life!" 
Crcesus thus known, it was great Cyrus' doom — 
A hard decree — to ashes he consume. 
Then on a woodpile set, where all might eye. 
He "Solon! Solon! Solon!" thrice did cry. 
The reason of those words Cyrus demands, 
Who Solon was, lo whom he lifts his hands. 
Then to ihc king he makes this true report: 
That Solon sometime at his stately court 
His Ireiiurei, pleasures, pomp, and power did see. 
And, viewing all, at all naught moved was he. 
When Crcesus, angry, urged him to express 
If ever king equaled his happiness, 
Quoih he, "That man for happy we commend 
Whose happy life attains a happy end," 
Cyrus, with pily moved, knowing i king's stand. 
Now up and down, as fortune turns her hand. 
Weighing the age and greatness of the prince, — 
His mother's uncle, stories do evince, — 

112 The Writings of Mrs* Anne Bradstreei 

Gave him his life and took him for a friend. 
Did to him still his chief designs commend. 
Next war the restless Cyrus thought upon 
Was conquest of the stately Babylon, 
Now treble-walled, and moated so about 
That all the world they need not fear nor doubt. 
To drain this ditch he many sluices cut. 
But till convenient time their heads kept shut. 
That night Belshazzar feasted all his rout 
He cut those banks and let the river out. 
And to the walls securely marches on. 
Not finding a defendant thereupon; 
Entering the town, the sottish king he slays. 
Upon earth's richest spoils each soldier preys. 
Here twenty years' provision good he found. 
Forty-five miles this city scarce could round. 
This head of kingdoms, Chaldea's excellence. 
For owls and satyrs made a residence; 
Yet wondrous monuments this stately queen 
A thousand years after had to be seen. 
Cyrus doth now the Jewish captives free; 
An edi6l made the temple builded be; 
He, with his uncle, Daniel sets on high. 
And caused his foes in lions' dens to die. 
Long after this he 'gainst the Scythians goes. 
And Tomyris' son and army overthrows; 
Which to revenge she hires a mighty power. 
And sets on Cyrus in a fatal hour. 

Tbi Four Monarchies 1 1 

There routs his host, himself a priioner takes. 

And at one blow the world's head headless makes — 

The which she bathed within a butt of blood. 

Using such (aunting words as she thought good. 

But Xcnophon reports he died in his bed 

In honor, peace, and wealth, with a gray hesd. 

And in his town of PasargadEc lies; 

Where some long after sought in vain for pnze. 

But in his tomb was only to be found 

Two Scythian bows, a sword, and target round; 

And Alexuider, coming to the same. 

With honors great did celebrate his fame. 

Three daughters and two sons he left behind. 

Ennobled more by birth than by their mind. 

Thirty-two years in all this prince did reign. 

But eight whilst Babylon he did retain; 

And though his conquests made the earth (o groan. 

Now quiet lies under one marble stone. 

And with an epitaph himself did make 

To show how little land he then should take. 

Cambyses, no ways like his noble sire. 
Yet to enlarge his state had some desire. 
His reign with blood and incest first begins. 
Then sends to find a law for these his sins. 
That kings with sisters match no law they find 
But that the Persian king may aft his mind. 

114 ^^^ Writings of Mrs. Anne Bradstreet 

He wages war, the fifth year of his reign, 

'Gainst Egypt's king, who there by him wis slain; 

And all of royal blood that came to hand 

He seized first of life and then of land. 

But little Narus 'scaped that cruel &te. 

Who, grown a man, resumed again his state. 

He next to Cyprus sends his bloody host. 

Who, landing soon upon that fruitful coast. 

Made Evelthon, their king, with bended knee 

To hold his own of his free courtesy. 

The temple he destroys, not for his zeal. 

For he would be professed god of their weal; 

Yea, in his pride, he ventured so far 

To spoil the temple of great Jupiter — 

But as they marched o'er those desert sands 

The stormed dust o'erwhelmed his daring bands. 

But scorning thus by Jove to be outbraved, 

A second army he had almost graved; 

But vain he found to fight with elements. 

So left his sacrilegious bold intents. 

The Egyptian Apis then he likewise slew. 

Laughing to scorn that sottish calvish crew. 

If all this heat had been for pious end, 

Cambyses to the clouds we might commend; 

But he that 'fore the gods himself prefers 

Is more profane than gross idolaters. 

He after this, upon suspicion vain. 

Unjustly caused his brother to be slain; 

The Ftur Mnarthits 1 1 5 

Pnxaspei into Pcraii then U sent 

To tfft in »ecrct this hia lewd intent. 

Hit siiter, whom incestQontl7 he wed. 

Hearing her harmleti brother thus wu dead, 

Hii woeAJ death with tears did so bemoan 

That bjr her hutband'i charge she caught her own; 

She with her fruit at once were both undone 

Who would hare borne a nephew and a son. 

O hellish husband, brother, uncle, sire. 

Thy cruelty all ages will admire. 

This strange severity he sometimes used 

Upon a judge for taking bribes accused: 

Fbyed him alive, hung up his stuffed slcin 

Over his scat, then placed his son therein, 

To whom he gave this in remembrance — 

Like fault must look for the like recompense. 

His cruelty was come unto that height 

He spared nor fge, nor friend, nor favorite. 

*T would be no pleasure, but a tedious thing. 

To tell the fafls of this most bloody king; 

Fearid of all, but loved of few or none. 

All wished his short reign past before 't was done. 

At last two of his officers, he hears. 

Had set one Smerdis up, of the same years 

And like in feature to his brother dead. 

Ruling as they thought best under this head. 

The people, ignorant of what was done. 

Obedience yielded as to Cyrus' son. 

1 16 The Writings of Mrs. Anne Braistrat 

Touched with this news, to Persii he makes; 

But in the way his sword just vengeance takes. 

Unsheathes, as he his horse mounted on high. 

And with a mortal thrust wounds him in the thigh. 

Which ends before begun his home-bred war. 

So yields to death, that dreadful conqueror. 

Grief for his brother's death he did express. 

And more because he died issueless. 

The male line of great Cyrus now had end; 

The female to many ages did extend. 

A Babylon in Egypt did he make. 

And Meroe built for his fair sister's sake. 

Eight years he reigned, a short, yet too long, time. 

Cut off* in wickedness, in strength, and prime. 


Childless Cambyses on the sudden dead. 

The princes meet to choose one in his stead. 

Of which the chief were seven, called satraps. 

Who, like to kings, ruled kingdoms as they please; 

Descended all of Achacmenes' blood. 

And kinsmen in account to the king they stood. 

And first these noble Magi agree upon 

To thrust the impostor Smerdis out of throne. 

Then forces instantly they raise, and rout 

The king with his conspirators so stout; 

Tie Ft*r MtMoribUi t ] 

Bat yet 'fore this wu done much blood wu shed. 

And two of thete great peers in field Uy dcid. 

Some write thit, sorely hurl, they etoiped away; 

But so or no, sure 't is they won the day. 

All things in peace, uid rebeb throughly quelled, 

A consultation by those states was held 

What form ofgoremnient now to erefi. 

The old or new, which best, in what resped. 

The greater part declined ■ monarchy. 

So ktc crashed by their prince's tyranny. 

And thought the people would more happy be 

If governed by an aristocracy. 

But others thought — none of the dullest brain — 

That belter one than many tyrants reign. 

What arguments they used I know not well, — 

Too politic, it 's lite, for me to tell, — 

But in conclusion they all agree 

Out of the seven a monarch chosen be. 

All envy to avoid, this was thought on: 

Upon a green to meet by rising sun. 

And he whose horse before the rest should neigh 

Of all the peers should have precedency. 

They all attend on the appointed hour. 

Praying to fortune for a kingly power; 

Then mounting on their snorting coursers proud, 

Darius' lusty stallion neighed full loud. 

The nobles all alight, bow to their king. 

And joyful acclamations shrill they ring. 

1 1 8 The Writings of Mrs. Anne Bradstreet 

A thousand times ''Long live the king!" they cry; 
**Let tyranny with dead Cambyses die!" 
Then all attend him to his royal room. 
Thanks for all this to his crafty stable-groom. 


Darius by eledlion made a king. 

His title to make strong omits no thing: 

He two of Cyrus' daughters then doth wed. 

Two of his nieces takes to nuptial bed. 

By which he cuts their hopes for future time 

That by such steps to kingdoms often climb. 

And now a king by marriage, choice, and blood. 

Three strings to his bow, the least of which is good. 

Yet firmly more the people's hearts to bind 

Made wholesome, gentle laws which pleased each mind. 

His courtesy and affability 

Much gained the hearts of his nobility. 

Yet, notwithstanding all he did so well. 

The Babylonians against their prince rebel. 

An host he raised the city to reduce; 

But men against those walls were of no use. 

Then brave Zopyrus, for his master's good. 

His manly face disfigures, spares no blood. 

With his own hands cuts off* his ears and nose. 

And with a faithful fraud to the town he goes. 

Tells them how harshly the proud king hath dealt. 

That for their sakes his cruelty he felt — 

The Four Monarchies 119 

Desiring of the prince to raise the siege. 

This violence was done him by his liege. 

This told, for entrance there he stood not long. 

For they believed his nose more than his tongue. 

With all the city's strength they him betrust; 

If he conunand, obey the greatest must. 

When opportunity he saw wis fit. 

Delivers up the town, and all in it. 

To lose a nose to win a town 's no shame; 

But who dares venture such a stake for the game? 

Than thy disgrace thine honor 's manifold. 

Who doth deserve a statue made of gold; 

Nor can Darius in his monarchy 

Scarce find enough to thank thy loyalty. 

Yet o'er thy glory we must cast this veil — 

Thy craft more than thy valor did prevail. 

Darius, in the second of his reign. 

An cdidl for the Jews published again 

The temple to rebuild, for that did rest 

Since Cyrus* time; Cambyses did molest. 

He, like a king, now grants a charter large. 

Out of his own revenues bears the charge. 

Gives sacrifices, wheat, wine, oil, and salt. 

Threats punishment to him that through default 

Shall let the work, or keep back anything 

Of what is freely granted by the king; 

And on all kings he pours out execrations 

That shall once dare to raze those firm foundations. 

1 20 The Writings of Mrs. Anm BradstreH 

They, thus backed by the king, in spite of foes 

Built on and prospered till their house they close. 

And in the sixth year of his friendly reign 

Set up a temple (though a less) again. 

Darius on the Scythians made a war. 

Entering that large and barren country hi, 

A bridge he made, which served for boat and barge 

O'er Ister fair, with labor and with charge. 

But in that desert, 'mongst his barbarous foes. 

Sharp wants, not swords, his valor did oppose: 

His army fought with hunger and with cold. 

Which to assail his royal camp were bold. 

By these alone his host was pinched so sore 

He warred defensive, not offensive more. 

The savages did laugh at his distress. 

Their minds by hieroglyphics they express: 

A frog, a mouse, a bird, an arrow, sent. 

The king will needs interpret their intent 

Possession of water, earth, and air; 

But wise Gobryas reads not half so fair. 

Quoth he, ** Like frogs in water we must dive. 

Or like to mice under the earth must live. 

Or fly like birds in unknown ways full quick. 

Or Scythian arrows in our sides must stick." 

The king, seeing his men and vi£^uals spent. 

This fruitless war began late to repent. 

Returned with little honor, and less gain. 

His enemies scarce seen, then much less slain. 

Tbt Ftnr Mtndrcbiei iz 

He after this intcncU Greece to invade. 

Bat troubles in Less Asii him stayed. 

Which hushed, he straight so orders his affiurs 

For Attica an arm/ he prepares. 

But, as before, to now, with ill succeu. 

Returned with wondrooi loss, and honorlets. 

Athens, perceiving now her desperate state. 

Armed all she could, which eleven thousand made; 

B^ brave Miltiades, their chief, being led, 

Darins' multitudes before them fled. 

At Marathon this bloody field was fought. 

Where Grecians proved themselves right soldien stoni 

The Persians to their galleys post with speed, 

Where an Athenian showed i valiant deed — 

Pursues his flying foes then on the sand. 

He stays a launching galley with his hand. 

Which soon cut off, enraged, he with his left 

Renews his hold, and when of that bereft 

His whetted teeth he claps in the firm wood; 

Off flies his head, down showers his frolic blood. 

Go, Persians, carry home that angry piece 

As the best trophy which ye won in Greece. 

Darius, light, yet heavy, home returns. 

And for revenge his heart siiU restless bums. 

His queen, Atossa, caused all this siir 

For Grecian maids, 't is said, to wail on her. 

She lost her aim; her husband, he lost more — 

His men, his coin, his honor, and his store. 

122 The Writings of Mrs. Anm Bradstreei 

And the ensuing year ended his life, 
'T is though ty through grief of this successless strife. 
Thirty-six years this noble prince did reign; 
Then to his second son did all remain. 


Xerxes, Darius' and Atossa's son. 

Grandchild to Cyrus, now sits on the throne 

(His eldest brother put beside the place. 

Because this was first bom of Cyrus' race) ; 

His father not so full of lenity 

As was his son of pride and cruelty. 

He with his crown receives a double war: 

The Egyptians to reduce, and Greece to mar. 

The first began and finished in such haste 

None write by whom nor how 't was overpast. 

But for the last he made such preparation 

As if to dust he meant to grind that nation; 

Yet all his men and instruments of slaughter 

Produced but derision and laughter. 

Sage Artabanus' counsel had he taken. 

And his cousin, young Mardonius, forsaken. 

His soldiers, credit, wealth, at home had stayed. 

And Greece such wondrous triumphs ne'er had made. 

The first dehorts and lays before his eyes 

His father's ill success in his enterprise 

Against the Scythians, and Grecians, too; 

What infamy to his honor did accrue. 

Tie FtMT Mtnar chits 

Flittering Mardoniiis, on the other lide. 
With conquest of ill Europe feeds his pride. 
Vain Xerzes thinks his counsel hith most wit 
That his ambitious humor best on fit; 
And by this choice unwarily posts on 
To present loss, future subveraidn. 
Although he hasted, yet four years were spent 
In great provisions for this great intent. 
His limy of all cations wis compounded 
That the vast Persian government surrounded. 
His foot was seventeen hundred thousand strong; 
Eight hundred thousand horse to these belong. 
His camels, beasts for carriage, numberless. 
For truth 's ashamed how many to express. 
The charge of all he severally commended 
To princes of the Persian blood descended; 
But the command of these commanders all 
Unto Mardonius, made iheir general. 
He was ihe son of the forenamed Gobryas, 
Who married the sister of Darius. 
Such his land forces were. Then next a fleet 
Of two and twenty thousand galleys meet. 
Manned with Phenicians and Pamphylians, 
Cypriotes, Dorians, and Cilicians, 
Lycians, Carians, and lonians, 
i£olians, and the Hellesponiines; 
Besides the vessels for his transportation. 
Which to three thousand came, by best relation. 

1 24 The Writings of Mrs. Anne Bradstreei 

Brave Artemisia, Halicarnassus' queen. 
In person present for his aid was seen. 
Whose galleys all the rest in neatness pass 
Save the Sidonians, where Xerxes was. 
But hers she kept still separate from the rest. 
For to command alone she judged was best. 

noble queen, thy valor I commend; 

But pity 't was thine aid thou here didst lend. 
At Sardis, in Lydia, all these do meet. 
Whither rich Pythius comes Xerxes to greet. 
Feasts all this multitude of his own charge. 
Then gives the king a king-like gift full large — 
Three thousand talents of the purest gold. 
Which mighty sum all wondered to behold. 
Then humbly to the king he makes request 
One of his five sons there might be released 
To be to his age a comfort and a stay; 
The other four he freely gave away. 
The king calls for the youth, who being brought. 
Cuts him in twain for whom his sire besought; 
Then laid his parts on both sides of the way, 
'Twixt which his soldiers marched in good array. 
For his great love is this thy recompense? 
Is this to do like Xerxes or a prince? 
Thou shame of kings, of men the detestation, 

1 rhetoric want to pour out execration. 
First thing he did that 's worthy of recount 
A sea-passage cut behind Athos' mount. 

Tit Fftr Mantrcbits 1 1 

Next o'er the Hellespont a bridge he made 

Of boati together coupled and there laid. 

Bnt winds and warei those iron bands did break; 

To cross the sea such strei^th he found too weak; 

Then whips the sea, and with a mind most vain 

He fetters casts therein the same to chain; 

The workmen pot to death the bridge that made 

Because tbe^ wanted skill the same to have stayed. 

Seven thousand galleys chained by Tyrians' skill 

Hrmly at last accomplished his will. 

Seven days and nights his host, without least stay. 

Was marching o'er this new devised way. 

Then in Abydos* plains mustering his forces. 

He glories in his squadrons and his horses; 

Long viewing them, thought il great happiness 

One king so many subjccis should possess. 

But yet this sight from him produced tears 

That none of those could live an hundred years. 

What after did ensue, had he foreseen. 

Of so long time his thoughts had never been. 

Of Arcabanus he again demands 

How of this enterprise his thought now stands. 

Hi] answer was, both sea and land he feared; 

Which was not vain, as after soon appeared. 

But Xerxes resolute to Thrace goes first. 

His host all Lissus drinks to quench its thirst; 

And for his cattle all Pissims' lake 

Was scarce enough for each a draught to take. 

1 26 The Writings of Mrs. Anne Bradstrat 

Then, marching on to the strait Thermopylae, 

The Spartan meets him, brave Leonide. 

This 'twixt the mountains lies, half acre wide. 

That pleasant Thessaly from Greece divide. 

Two days and nights a fight they there maintain. 

Till twenty thousand Persians fell down slain; 

And all that army then, dismayed, had fled 

But that a fugitive discovered 

How some might o'er the mountains go about 

And wound the backs of those brave warriors stoat. 

They thus, behemmed with multitude of foes. 

Laid on more fiercely their deep mortal blows. 

None cries for quarter, nor yet seeks to run. 

But on their ground they die, each mother's son. 

O noble Greeks, how now degenerate! 

Where is the valor of your ancient state 

Whenas one thousand could a million daunt? 

Alas, it is Leonidas you want! 

This shameful vidlory cost Xerxes dear; 

Among the rest, two brothers he lost there. 

And as at land, so he at sea was crossed: 

Four hundred stately ships by storms were lost; 

Of vessels small almost innumerable. 

The harbors to contain them were not able. 

Yet, thinking to outmatch his foes at sea. 

Inclosed their fleet in the strait of Eubcea; 

But they, as fortunate at sea as land. 

In this strait, as the other, firmly stand. 

The Four Monarchies 1 27 

And Xerxes' mighty galleys battered so 

That their split sides witnessed his overthrow. 

Then in the strait of Salamis he tried 

If that small number his great force could bide; 

But he, in daring of his forward foe. 

Received there a shameful overthrow. 

Twice beaten thus at sea, he warred no more. 

But then the Phocians' country wasted sore. 

They no way able to withstand his force. 

The brave Themistodes takes this wise course: 

In secret manner word to Xerxes sends 

That Greeks to break his bridge shortly intend; 

And, as a friend, warns him, whatever he do. 

For his retreat to have an eye thereto. 

He, hearing this, his thoughts and course home bended. 

Much fearing that which never was intended. 

Yet 'fore he went, to help out his expense. 

Part of his host to Dclphos sent from thence 

To rob the wealthy temple of Apollo. 

But mischief sacrilege doth ever follow. 

Two mighty rocks brake from Parnassus' hill. 

And many thousands of those men did kill; 

Which accident the rest affrighted so 

With empty hands they to their master go. 

He, finding all to tend to his decay. 

Fearing his bridge, no longer there would stay. 

Three hundred thousand yet he left behind 

With his Mardonius, index of his mind; 

1 28 The Writings of Mrs. Anne Bradstrat 

Who, for his sake, he knew would yentore ftr. 
Chief instigator of this hapless war. 
He instantly to Athens sends for peace. 
That all hostility from thenceforth cease. 
And that with Xerxes they would be at one; 
So should all favor to their state be shown. 
The Spartans, fearing Athens would agree. 
As had Macedon, Thebes, and Thessaly, 
And leave them out this shock now to sustain. 
By their ambassador they thus complain 
That Xerxes' quarrel was 'gainst Athens' state. 
And they had helped them as confederate; 
If in their need they should forsake their friend. 
Their infamy would last till all things end. 
But the Athenians this peace detest. 
And thus replied unto Mardon's request: 
That while the sun did run his endless course 
Against the Persians they would bend their force; 
Nor could the brave ambassador he sent 
With rhetoric gain better compliment — 
A Macedonian born, and great commander. 
No less than grandsire to great Alexander. 
Mardonius proud, hearing this answer stout. 
To add more to his numbers lays about; 
And of those Greeks which by his skill he won 
He fifty thousand joins unto his own. 
The other Greeks which were confederate 
In all one hundred and ten thousand made. 

The Four Monarchies 1 29 

The Athenians could but forty thousand arm. 

The rest had weapons would do little harm; 

But that which helped defedb and made them bold 

Was viftory by oracle foretold. 

Then for one battle shortly all provide 

Where both their controversies they Ml decide. 

Ten days these armies did each other face. 

Mardonius, finding vi6hials waste apace. 

No longer dared, but bravely onset gave. 

The other not a hand or sword would wave 

Till in the entrails of their sacrifice 

The signal of their victory did rise; 

Which found, like Greeks they fight, the Persians fly. 

And troublesome Mardonius now must die. 

All 's lost; and of three hundred thousand men 

Three thousand only can run home again. 

For pity let those few to Xerxes go 

To certify his final overthrow. 

Same day the small remainder of his fleet 

The Grecians at Mycale in Asia meet. 

And there so utterly they wrecked the same 

Scarce one was left to carry home the fame. 

Thus did the Greeks consume, destroy, disperse. 

That army which did fright the universe. 

Scorned Xerxes, hated for his cruelty. 

Yet ceases not to aft his villainy. 

His brother's wife solicits to his will; 

The chaste and beauteous dame refused still. 


1 30 The Writings of Mrs. Anne Bradstrat 

Some years by him in this vain suit were spent. 

Nor prayers nor gifts could win him least content. 

Nor matching of her daughter to his son; 

But she was still as when he first begun. 

When jealous Queen Amestris of this knew 

She harpy-like upon the lady flew. 

Cut off her breasts, her lips, her nose, and ears. 

And leaves her thus besmeared in blood and tears. 

Straight comes her lord, and finds his wife thas lie. 

The sorrow of his heart did close his eye. 

He dying to behold that wounding sight 

Where he had sometime gazed with great delight. 

To see that face where rose and lilies stood 

O'erflown with torrents of her guiltless blood. 

To see those breasts where chastity did dwell 

Thus cut and mangled by a hag of hell. 

With laden heart unto the king he goes. 

Tells as he could his unexpressed woes. 

But for his deep complaints and showers of tears 

His brother's recompense was naught but jeers. 

The grieved prince, finding nor right nor love. 

To Ba6lria his household did remove. 

His brother sent soon after him a crew 

Which him and his most barbarously there slew. 

Unto such height did grow his cruelty. 

Of life no man had least security. 

At last his uncle did his death conspire. 

And for that end his eunuch he did hire. 

Tit F*ur MtmarehUi 13 1 

Who prirmtely him unothered in hit bed. 
But yet by March he wu found murdered. 
Then Artibanut, birer of this deed. 
That from suspiciSn he might be freed. 
Accused Dirius, Xerzei' eldest 100, 
To be the luthor of the crime wu done. 
And by hii cnft ordered the matter 10 
That the prince, innocent, to death did go. 
But in ihort time this wickedncu wai known. 
For which he diSd, and not be alone. 
But all his family was likewise slain. 
Such justice in the Persian court did reign. 
The eldest son thus immacurely dead. 
The second was enthroned in hts father's stead. 

Amongst the monarchs neit this prince had place. 
The best that ever sprung of Cyrus' race. 
He first war with revolted Egypt made. 
To whom the perjured Grecians lent their aid 
Although to Xerites they not long before 
A league of amity had firmly swore. 
Which had they kept, Greece had more nobly done 
Than when the world they after overrun. 
Greeks and Egyptians both he overthrows. 
And pays them both according as he owes. 
Which done, a sumptuous feast makes like a king. 
Where nincscore days are spent in banqueting; 

1 32 The Writings of Mrs. Anrn Brads trat 

His princes, nobles, and his captains calls 

To be partakers of these festivals. 

His hangings white and green, and purple dye. 

With gold and silver beds most gorgeously. 

The royal wine in golden cups did pass; 

To drink more than he list none bidden was. 

Queen Vashti also feasts; but 'fore 'tis ended 

She 's from her royalty, alas, suspended. 

And one more worthy placed in her room; 

By Memucan's advice so was the doom. 

What Esther was and did, the story read. 

And how her countrymen from spoil she fireed; 

Of Haman's fall, and Mordecai's great rise. 

The might of the prince, the tribute of the islet. 

Good Ezra in the seventh year of his reign 

Did for the Jews commission large obtain. 

With gold and silver, and whate'er they need; 

His bounty did Darius' far exceed. 

And Nehemiah, in his twentieth year. 

Went to Jerusalem, his city dear. 

Rebuilt those walls which long in rubbish lay. 

And o'er his opposites still got the day. 

Unto this king Themistocles did fly 

When under ostracism he did lie — 

For such ingratitude did Athens show 

This valiant knight, whom they so much did owe. 

Such royal bounty from his prince he found 

That in his loyalty his heart was bound. 

Tbi Four Monarchies 133 

The king not little joyfiil of this chance. 
Thinking his Grecian wars now to advance. 
And for that end great preparation made 
Fair Attica a third time to invade. 
His grandsire's old disgrace did vex him sore. 
His father Xerxes' loss and shame much more. 
For punishment their breach of oath did call 
This noble Greek, now fit for general. 
Provisions then and season being fit. 
To Themistodes this war he doth commit. 
Who for his wrong he could not choose but deem 
His country nor his friends would much esteem; 
But he all injury had soon forgot. 
And to his native land could bear no hate. 
Nor yet disloyal to his prince would prove. 
By whom obliged by bounty and by love. 
Either to wrong did wound his heart so sore 
To wrong himself by death he chose before. 
In this sad conflict marching on his ways. 
Strong poison took, so put an end to his days. 
The king, this noble captain having lost. 
Dispersed again his newly-levied host. 
Rest of his time in peace he did remain. 
And died the two and fortieth of his reign. 


Three sons great Artaxerxes left behind; 
The eldest to succeed, that was his mind. 


134 ^^^ Writings of Mrs, Anne Br ads tr at 

His second brother with him fell at strife. 
Still making war till first had lost his life. 
Then the survivor is by Nothus slain. 
Who now sole monarch doth of all remain. 
The first two sons are by historians thought 
By fair Queen Esther to her husband brought. 
If so they were, the greater was her moan 
That for such graceless wretches she did groan. 
Revolting Egypt 'gainst this king rebels. 
His garrison drives out that mongst them dwells; 
Joins with the Greeks, and so maintains their right 
For sixty years, maugre the Persians' might. 
A second trouble after this succeeds. 
Which from remissness in Less Asia breeds. 
Amorges, whom for viceroy he ordained. 
Revolts, treasure and people having gained. 
Plunders the country, and much mischief wrought 
Before things could to quietness be brought. 
The king was glad with Sparta to make peace. 
That so he might those troubles soon appease; 
But they in AsiS must first restore 
All towns held by his ancestors before. 
The king much profit reaped by this league. 
Regains his own, then doth the rebel break. 
Whose strength by Grecians' help was overthrown. 
And so each man again possessed his own. 
This king, Cambyses-like, his sister wed. 
To which his pride more than his lust him led; 

The Ftur Mon»rtbitj 13; 

For Periiui kings then deemed themielvet ao good 

No match wu high enough but their own blood. 

Two sons she bore, the youngest Cyrus named, 

A prince whose wonh by Xenophon is famed. 

Hi) father would do notice of that take. 

Prefers hb brother for hia birthright's uke. 

But Cyrus scorns his brother's feeble wit. 

And takes more on him than was judged fit. 

The king, provoked, sends for him to the court. 

Meaning to chastise him in sharpest sort; 

But in his slow approach ere he came there 

His father died, so put an end to his fear. 

About nineteen years this Nothus reigned, which run, 

Hia large dominions left to his eldest son. 

Mncmon now sat upon his father's throne. 
Yet fears all he enjoys is not his own; 
Still on his brother casts a jealous eye, 
judging his afliona tend to his injury. 
Cyrus, on the other side, weighs in his mind 
What help in his eaierprise he's like to find. 
His interest in the kingdom, now next heir. 
More dear to his mother than his brother far. 
His brother's little love like to be gone, 
Held by his mother's intercession — 
These and like motives hurry him amain 
To win by force what right could not obtain; 

1 36 The Writings of Mrs. Anne Bradstrat 

And thought it best now in his mother's time 

By lower steps toward the top to climb. 

If in his enterprise he should ^1 short. 

She to the king would make a fair report; 

He hoped if fraud nor force the crown would gain 

Her prevalence a pardon might obtain. 

From the lieutenant first he takes away 

Some towns, commodious in Less Asia, 

Pretending still the profit of the king. 

Whose rents and customs duly he sent in. 

The king, finding revenues now amended. 

For what was done seemed no whit ofiended. 

Then next he takes the Spartans into pay — 

One Greek could make ten Persians run away. 

Great care was his pretense those soldiers stout 

The rovers in Pisidia should drive out; 

But lest some blacker news should fly to court 

Prepares himself to carry the report. 

And for that end five hundred horse he chose. 

With posting speed on toward the king he goes. 

But fame, more quick, arrives ere he comes there. 

And fills the court with tumult and with fear. 

The old queen and the young at bitter jars. 

The last accused the first for these sad wars; 

The wife against the mother still doth cry 

To be the author of conspiracy. 

The king, dismayed, a mighty host doth raise. 

Which Cyrus hears, and so foreslows his pace; 

The Faur MtMartbUs 13; 

But u he goM hit forces itill augments, — 

Seven hundred Greeks repair for his intents. 

And others to be warmed by this new sun 

In Dumbera from his brother daily run. 

The fearful king at last muster* his forces. 

And counts nine hundred thousand foot and horses. 

Three hundred thousand he to Syria sent 

To keep those straits his brother to prevent. 

Their captain, hearing but of Cyrus' name. 

Forsook hit charge, to his eternal shame. 

This place so nude by nature and by art 

Few might have kept it had they had ■ heart. 

Cyrus despaired a passage there to gain. 

So hired a fleet to waft Mm o'er the main. 

The amazed king was then about to fly 

To Baaria, and for a time there lie. 

Had not his captains, sore against his will. 

By reason and by force detained him still. 

Up then with speed a mighty trench he throws 

For his security against his foes. 

Six yards the depth and forty miles in length. 

Some fifty or eUe sixty foot In breadth; 

Yet for his brother's coining durst not stay, — 

He safest was when farthest out of the way. 

Cyrus, finding his camp and no man there. 

Was not a little jocund at his fear. 

On this he and his soldiers careless grow. 

And here and there in carts their arms they throw. 

1 38 The Writings of Mrs. Anne Brads trat 

When suddenly their scouts come in and ay, 

"Arm! Arm! The king with all his host is nigh!" 

In this confusion, each man as he might 

Gets on his arms, arrays himself for fight. 

And ranged stood by great Euphrates' side 

The brunt of that huge multitude to abide. 

Of whose great numbers their intelligence 

Was gathered by the dust that rose from thence. 

Which like a mighty cloud darkened the sky. 

And black and blacker grew as they drew nigh. 

But when their order and their silence saw. 

That more than multitudes their hearts did awe; 

For tumult and confusion they expelled. 

And all good discipline to be neglected. 

But long under their fears they did not stay. 

For at first charge the Persians ran away. 

Which did such courage to the Grecians bring 

They all adored Cyrus for their king; 

So had he been, and got the vi6lory. 

Had not his too much valor put him by. 

He with six hundred on a squadron set 

Of thousands six wherein the king was yet. 

And brought his soldiers on so gallantly 

They ready were to leave their king and fly; 

Whom Cyrus spies, cries loud, ** I see the man! " 

And with a full career at him he ran. 

And in his speed a dart him hit in the eye; — 

Down Cyrus falls, and yields to destiny. 

Tit Ffur Manarebiei 139 

His hoit in choc know not of this disaster. 

But tread down all so to tidvance their master; 

But when liis head they spy upon > lance. 

Who knows the sudden change nude by this chance? 

Senaclesi and mute they stand, yet breathe out groans. 

Nor Gorgon's head like this transformed to ttonei. 

After this trance revenge new spirits blew. 

And now more eagerly their foes pursue. 

And heapa on heaps such multitudes they laid 

Their arms grew weary by their slaughters made. 

The king unto a country village files. 

And for a while unkingly there he lies; 

At last displays his ensign on a hill. 

Hoping by that to make the Greeks stand still. 

But was deceived. To him they run amain; 

The king upon the spur runs back again. 

But they, (00 faint still to pursue their game. 

Being viftors oft now to their camp they came. 

Nor lacked ihey any of their number small. 

Nor wound received but one among them all. 

The king, with his dispersed, also encamped. 

With infamy upon each forehead stamped. 

His hurried thoughts he after re-colle£)s; 

Of this day's cowardice he fears the effefls. 

If Greeks in their own country should declare 

What dastards in the field the Persians are, 

They in short lime might place one on his throne. 

And rob him both of scepter and of crown. 

140 The Writings of Mrs. Anne Braastrut 

To hinder their return by craft or force 

He judged his wisest and his safest course; 

Then sends that to his tent they straight address. 

And there all wait his mercy weaponless. 

The Greeks with scorn reje^ his proud comnumds. 

Asking no favor where they feared no bands. 

The troubled king his herald sends again. 

And sues for peace, that they his friends remain. 

The smiling Greeks reply they first must bait; 

They were too hungry to capi^late. 

The king great store of all provision sends. 

And courtesy to the utmost he pretends; 

Such terror on the Persians then did ^1 

They quaked to hear them to each other call. 

The king, perplexed, there dares not let them stay. 

And fears as much to let them march away. 

But kings ne'er want such as can serve their will. 

Fit instruments to accomplish what is ill; 

As Tissaphemes, knowing his master's mind. 

Their chief commanders feasts, and yet more kind. 

With all the oaths and deepest flattery. 

Gets them to treat with him in privacy. 

But violates his honor and his word. 

And villain-like there puts them all to the sword. 

The Greeks, seeing their valiant captains slain. 

Chose Xenophon to lead them home again. 

But Tissaphernes what he could devise 

Did stop the way in this their enterprise; 

Tie f$ur M»n archies 141 

But when through difficulties all they brake. 

The country burned they no relief might take. 

But on they march, through hunger and through cold. 

O'er mountains, rocks, and hills, as lions bold; 

Nor rivers' course nor Persians' force could stay. 

But on to Trebizond they kept their way. 

There was of Greeks settled a colony. 

Who after all received them joyfully. 

Thus finishing their travail, danger, pain. 

In peace they saw their native soil again. 

The Greeks now, as the Persian king suspcAed, 

The Asiatics' cowardice detcfted — 

The many victories themselves did gain. 

The many thousand Persians they had slain. 

And how their nation with facility 

Might gain the universal monarchy. 

They then Dcrcyllidas send with an host. 

Who with the Spartans on the Asian coast 

Town after town with small resistance takes. 

Which rumor makes great Artaxerxes quake. 

The Greeks by this success encouraged so. 

Their king Agcsilaus doth over go. 

By Tissaphcrnes he 's encountered. 

Lieutenant to the king; but soon he fled. 

Which overthrow incensed the king so sore 

That Tissaphern must be viceroy no more. 

Tithraustcs then is placed in his stead. 

Commission hath to take the other's head; 

142 The Writings of Mrs. Anne Bradstrut 

Of that perjurious wretch this was the fiite. 

Whom the old queen did bear a mortal hate. 

Tithraustes trusts more to his wit than arms. 

And hopes by craft to quit his master's harms. 

He knows that many a town in Greece envies 

The Spartan state, which now so &t did rise; 

To them he thirty thousand talents sent. 

With suit their arms against their foes be bent. 

They to their discontent receiving hire. 

With broils and quarrels set all Greece on fire. 

Agesilaus is called home with speed. 

To defend, more than offend, there was need. 

Their winnings lost, and peace they 're glad to take 

On such conditions as the king will make. 

Dissension in Greece continued so long 

Till many a captain fell, both wise and strong. 

Whose courage naught but death could ever tame. 

'Mongst these Epaminondas wants no fame. 

Who had, as noble Raleigh doth evince. 

All the peculiar virtues of a prince. 

But let us leave these Greeks to discord bent. 

And turn to Persia, as is pertinent. 

The king, from foreign parts now well at ease. 

His home-bred troubles sought how to appease. 

The two queens by his means seem to abate 

Their former envy and inveterate hate; 

But the old queen, implacable in strife. 

By poison caused the young to lose her life. 

Tbt F»ur MmtrebUi 

The king, highly enraged, doth thereupon 
From court exile her unto Bibylonj 
Bat shortly calU her home, her counieb prize, 
A lady very wicked, but yet wise. 
Then in voluptuousneu he leads his life. 
And weds his daughter for ■ second wife. 
But long in ease and pleasure did not lie; 
His sons sore vexed him by disloyalty. 
Such as would know at large his wars and reign. 
What troubles in his house he did sustain. 
His match incestuous, cruelties of the queen. 
His life may read in Plutarch to be seen. 
Forty-three years he ruled, then turned to dust, 
A king nor good, nor valiant, wise, nor just. 

Ochus, a wicked and rebellious son. 
Succeeds in the throne, his father being gone. 
Two of his brothers in his father's days. 
To his great grief, most subtilely he slays; 
And, being king, commands those that remain 
Of brethren and of kindred to be slain. 
Then raises forces, conquers Egypt land. 
Which in rebellion sixty years did stand. 
And in (he Iweniy-third of hii cruel reign 
Was by his eunuch, the proud Bigois, slain. 

144 '^^^ Writings $f Mrs. Anm Bradstreet 


Arsames, placed now in his fiither's steid 

By him that late his father murderedy 

Some write that Arsames was Ochos' brother. 

Enthroned by Bagoas in the room of the other; 

But why his brother 'fore his son succeeds 

I can no reason give, 'cause none I read. 

His brother, as 't is said, long since was slain. 

And scarce a nephew left that now might reign. 

What a6b he did time hath not now left penned. 

But most suppose in him did Cyrus end. 

Whose race long time had worn the diadem. 

But now 's devolved to another stem. 

Three years he reigned, then drank his father's cup 

By the same eunuch who first set him up. 


Darius, by this Bagoas set in throne, — 
Complotter with him in the murder done, — 
He was no sooner settled in his reign 
But Bagoas falls to his practices again. 
And the same sauce had served him, no doubt. 
But that his treason timely was found out; 
And so this wretch, a punishment too snudl. 
Lost but his life for his horrid treasons all. 
This Codomannus now upon the stage 
Was to his predecessors chamber-page. 

The F$ur ManarcbUs 145 

Some write great Cyrus' line was not yet run. 

But from some daughter this new king was sprung. 

If so or not we cannot tell, but find 

That several men will have their several mind. 

Yet in such differences we may be bold 

With the learned and judicious still to hold; 

And this 'mongst all 's no controverted thing. 

That this Darius was last Persian king. 

Whose wars and losses we may better tell 

In Alexander's reign, who did him quell: 

How from the top of world's felicity 

He fell to depths of greatest misery; 

Whose honors, treasures, pleasures, had short stay — 

One deluge came and swept them all away. 

And in the sixth year of his hapless reign 

Of all did scarce his winding-sheet remain; 

And last, a sad catastrophe to end. 

Him to the grave did traitor Bessus send. 

The End of the Persian Monarchy, 


146 The Writings of Mrs. Anne Bradstreei 


Great Alexander was wise Philip's son. 

He to Amyntas, kings of Macedon; 

The cruel, proud Olympias was his mother. 

She to Epirus' warlike king was daughter. 

This prince, his father by Pausanias slain. 

The twenty-first of his age began to reign. 

Great were the gifts of nature which he had. 

His education much to those did add; 

By art and nature both he was made fit 

To accomplish that which long before was writ. 

The very day of his nativity 

To the ground was burned Diana's temple high. 

An omen of their near approaching woe 

Whose glory to the earth this king did throw. 

His rule to Greece he scorned should be confined; 

The universe scarce bound his proud, vast mind. 

This is the he-goat which from Grecia came. 

That ran in choler on the Persian ram. 

That brake his horns, that threw him on the ground; 

To save him from his might no man was found. 

Philip on this great conquest had an eye. 

But death did terminate those thoughts so high; 

The Greeks had chose him captain-general. 

Which honor to his son did now befall. 

The F$Mr MMarcbus 147 

For as world's monarch now we speak not on. 

But as the king of little Macedon. 

Restless both day and night his heart then was 

His high resolves which way to bring to pass; 

Yet for a while in Greece he 's forced to stay. 

Which makes each moment seem more than a day. 

Thebes and stiff Athens both 'gainst him rebel; 

Their mutinies by valor doth he quell. 

This done, against both right and nature's laws 

His kinsmen put to death, who gave no cause. 

That no rebellion in his absence be. 

Nor making title unto sovereignty; 

And all whom he suspedb or fears will climb 

Now taste of death, lest they deserve it in time. 

Nor wonder is it if he in blood begin. 

For cruelty was his parental sin. 

Thus eased now of troubles and of fears. 

Next spring his course to Asia he steers; 

Leaves sage Antipatcr at home to sway. 

And through the Hellespont his ships made way. 

Coming to land, his dart on shore he throws. 

Then with alacrity he after goes; 

And with a bounteous heart and courage brave 

His little wealth among his soldiers gave. 

And being asked what for himself was left. 

Replied, Enough, sith only hope he kept. 

Thirty-two thousand made up his foot force. 

To which were joined fist thousand goodly horse. 

1 48 The Writings $f Mrs. Anne Bradstreet 

Then on he marched. In his way he viewed old Trojp 

And on Achilles' tomb with wondrous joy 

He offered, and for good success did pray 

To him, his mother's ancestor, men say. 

When news of Alexander came to court. 

To scorn at him Darius had good sport; 

Sends him a frothy and contemptuous letter: 

Styles him disloyal servant, and no better; 

Reproves him for his proud audacity 

To lift his hand 'gainst such a monarchy. 

Then to his lieutenant he in Asia sends 

That he be taken alive, for he intends 

To whip him well with rods, and so to bring 

That boy so malapert before the king. 

Ah, fond, vain man, whose pen ere while 

In lower terms was taught a higher style! 

To river Granicus Alexander hies. 

Which in Phrygia near Propontis lies. 

The Persians ready for encounter stand. 

And strive to keep his men from off" the land; 

Those banks so steep the Greeks yet scramble up. 

And beat the coward Persians from the top. 

And twenty thousand of their lives bereave. 

Who in their backs did all their wounds receive. 

This victory did Alexander gain 

With loss of thirty-four of his there slain. 

Then Sardis he, and Ephesus, did gain. 

Where stood of late Diana's wondrous ^e. 

Tbe f$ur M»narcbies 149 

And by Ptnnenio, of renowned fame, 

Miletus and Pamphylia overcame; 

Halicamassus and Pisidia 

He for his master ttkes, with Lycia. 

Next Alexander marched toward the Black Sea, 

And easily takes old Gordium in his way. 

Of ass-eared Midas once the regal seat. 

Whose touch turned all to gold, yea, e'en his meat. 

There the prophetic knot he cuts in twain. 

Which whoso doth must lord of all remain. 

Now news of Menmon's death, the king's viceroy. 

To Alexander's heart 's no little joy. 

For in that peer more valor did abide 

Than in Darius' multitude beside. 

In his stead was Arses placed, but durst not stay. 

Yet set one in his room, and ran away; 

His substitute, as fearful as his master. 

Runs after, too, and leaves all to disaster. 

Then Alexander all Cilicia takes. 

No stroke for it he struck, their hearts so quake. 

To Greece he thirty thousand talents sends 

To raise more force to further his intents. 

Then o'er he goes Darius now to meet. 

Who came with thousand thousands at his feet — 

Though some there be, perhaps more likely, write 

He but four hundred thousand had to fight; 

The rest attendants, which made up no less. 

Both sexes there were almost numberless. 


1 50 The Writings of Mrs. Anne BradstreU 

For this wise king had brought, to see the sport. 

With him the greatest kdies of the court. 

His mother, his beauteous queen and daughters. 

It seems, to see the Macedonian slaughters. 

It 's much beyond my time and little art 

To show how great Darius played his part. 

The splendor and the pomp he marched in. 

For since the world was no such pageant seen. 

Sure 't was a goodly sight there to behold 

The Persians clad in silk and glistering gold. 

The stately horses trapped, the lances gilt. 

As if addressed now all to run a tilt. 

The holy fire was borne before the host. 

For sun and fire the Persians worship most; 

The priests, in their strange habit, follow after. 

An object not so much of fear as laughter. 

The king sat in a chariot made of gold. 

With crown and robes most glorious to behold. 

And o'er his head his golden gods on high 

Support a party-colored canopy. 

A number of spare horses next were led. 

Lest he should need them in his chariot's stead; 

But those that saw him in this state to lie 

Supposed he neither meant to fight nor fly. 

He fifteen hundred had like women dressed. 

For thus to fright the Greeks he judged was best; 

Their golden ornaments how to set forth 

Would ask more time than were their bodies worth. 

Tbe F0ur M9n Archies 151 

Great Sisygambis she brought up the rear; 

Then such a world of wagons did appear. 

Like several houses moving upon wheels. 

As if she 'd drawn whole Shushan at her heels. 

This brave virago to the king was mother. 

And as much good she did as any other. 

Now lest this gold and all this goodly stuff 

Had not been spoil and booty rich enough, 

A thousand mules and camels ready wait 

Laden with gold, with jewels, and with plate. 

For sure Darius thought at the first sight 

The Greeks would aU adore but none would fight. 

But when both armies met, he might behold 

That valor was more worth than pearls or gold. 

And that his wealth served but for baits to allure 

To make his overthrow more fierce and sure. 

The Greeks came on, and with a gallant grace 

Let fly their arrows in the Persians' face. 

The cowards, feeling this sharp, stinging charge. 

Most basely ran, and left their king at large. 

Who from his golden coach is glad to alight 

And cast away his crown for swifter flight. 

Of late like some immovable he lay; 

Now finds both legs and horse to run away. 

Two hundred thousand men that day were slain. 

And forty thousand prisoners also ta'en. 

Besides the queens and ladies of the court. 

If Curtiiis be true in his report. 

152 Tbi Writings $/ Mrs. Jnne Bradstr$it 

The regal ornaments were lost, the treasure 

Divided at the Macedonian's pleasure. 

Yet all this griefy this loss, this overthrow. 

Was but beginning of his future woe. 

The royal captives brought to Alexander, 

Toward them demeaned himself like a commander; 

For though their beauties were unparalleled. 

Conquered himself now he who 'd conquered. 

Preserved their honor, used them bounteously. 

Commands no man should do them injury; — 

And this to Alexander is more fame 

Than that the Persian king he overcame. 

Two hundred eighty Greeks he lost in fight 

By too much heat, not wounds, as authors write. 

No sooner had this vi£tor won the fields 

But all Phenicia to his pleasure yields. 

Of which the government he doth commit 

Unto Parmenio, of all most fit. 

Darius, now less lofty than before. 

To Alexander writes he would restore 

Those mournful ladies from captivity. 

For whom he offers him a ransom high 

But down his haughty stomach could not bring 

To give this conqueror the style of king. 

This letter Alexander doth disdain. 

And in short terms sends this reply again: 

A king he was, and that not only so. 

But of Darius king, as he should know. 

Tbe F$ur M»narcbies 153 

Next Alexander unto Tyre doth go. 

His valor and his viftories they know; 

To gain his love the Tyrians intend. 

Therefore a crown and great provision send. 

Their present he receives with thankfulness. 

Desires to offer unto Hercules, 

Protedor of their town, by whom defended. 

And from whom he lineally descended. 

But they accept not this in any wise 

Lest he intend more fraud than sacrifice; 

Sent word that Hercules his temple stood 

In the old town, which then lay like a wood. 

With this reply he was so deep enraged 

To win the town his honor he engaged; 

And now, as Babel's king did once before. 

He leaves not till he made the sea firm shore. 

But far less time and cost he did expend — 

The former ruins forwarded his end; 

Moreover, he 'd a navy at command. 

The other by his men fetched all by land. 

In seven months' time he took that wealthy town. 

Whose glory now a second time 's brought down. 

Two thousand of the chief he crucified. 

Eight thousand by the sword then also died. 

And thirteen thousand galley-slaves he made; 

And thus the Tyrians for mistrust were paid. 

The rule of this he to Philotas gave. 

Who was the son of that Parmenio brave. 

1 54 The Writings $/ Mrs. Anne Bradstreet 

Cilicii to Socrates doth give. 

For now 's the time captains like kings may live. 

Sidon he on Hephaestion bestows. 

For that which freely comes as freely goes; 

He scorns to have one worse than had the other. 

So gives his little lordship to another. 

Hephaestion, having chief command of the fleet. 

At Gaza now must Alexander meet. 

Darius, finding troubles still increase. 

By his ambassadors now sues for peace. 

And lays before great Alexander's eyes 

The dangers, difficulties, like to rise: 

First at Euphrates what he is like to abide. 

And then at Tigris' and Araxes' side; 

These he may escape, and if he so desire 

A league of friendship make firm and entire. 

His eldest daughter he in marriage proffers. 

And a most princely dowry with her offers — 

All those rich kingdoms large that do abide 

Betwixt the Hellespont and Halys' side. 

But he with scorn his courtesy reje£b. 

And the distressed king no whit respedb; 

Tells him these proffers great in truth were none. 

For all he offers now was but his own. 

But quoth Parmenio, that brave commander, 

** Were I as great as is great Alexander 

Darius' offers I would not rejedl. 

But the kingdoms and the lady soon accept." 

The F$ur MonarcbUs 155 

To which proud Alexander made reply, 

"And so, if I Parmenio were, would I." 

He now to Gaza goes, and there doth meet 

His favorite Hephaestion with his fleet. 

Where valiant Betis stoutly keeps the town, 

A loyal subjedl to Darius' crown. 

For more repulse the Grecians here abide 

Than in the Persian monarchy beside; 

And by these walls so many men were slain 

That Greece was forced to yield supply again. 

But yet this well defended town was taken. 

For 't was decreed that empire should be shaken. 

Thus Betis taken had holes bored through his feet. 

And by command was drawn through every street 

To imitate Achilles in his shame. 

Who did the like to Heftor, of more fame. 

What! hast thou lost thy magnanimity? 

Can Alexander deal thus cruelly? 

Sith valor with heroics is renowned 

Though in an enemy it should be found. 

If of thy future fame thou hadst regard 

Why didst not heap up honors and reward? 

From Gaza to Jerusalem he goes. 

But in no hostile way, as I suppose. 

Him in his priestly robes high Jaddua meets. 

Whom with great reverence Alexander greets; 

The priest shows him good Daniel's prophecy. 

How he should overthrow this monarchy. 

1 56 The Writings 0/ Mrs. Anne Brndstrut 

By which he was so much encouraged 

No future dangers he did ever dread. 

From thence to fruitful Egypt marched with speedy 

Where happily in his wars he did succeed; 

To see how fast he gained was no small wonder. 

For in few days he brought that kingdom under. 

Then to the fane of Jupiter he went. 

To be installed a god was his intent; 

The pagan priest, through hire, or else mistake. 

The son of Jupiter did straight him make. 

He diabolical must needs remain 

That his humanity will not retain. 

Thence back to Egypt goes, and in few days 

Fair Alexandria from the ground doth raise. 

Then settling all things in Less Asia, 

In Syria, Egypt, and Phenicii, 

Unto Euphrates marched and over goes. 

For no man 's there his army to oppose. 

Had Betis but been there now with his band. 

Great Alexander had been kept from land. 

But as the king, so is the multitude. 

And now of valor both are destitute. 

Yet he, poor prince, another host doth muster 

Of Persians, Scythians, Indians, in a cluster. 

Men but in shape and name, of valor none. 

Most lit to blunt the swords of Macedon. 

Two hundred fifty thousand, by account. 

Of horse and foot his army did amount. 

The F9ur Monarchies 1 57 

For in his multitudes his trust still lay. 

But on their fortitude he had small stay; 

Yet had some hope that on the spacious plain 

His numbers might the vidory obtain. 

About this time Darius' beauteous queen. 

Who had sore travail and much sorrow seen. 

Now bids the world adieu, with pain being spent. 

Whose death her lord full sadly did lament* 

Great Alexander mourns as well as he. 

The more because not set at liberty. 

When this sad news at first Darius hears. 

Some injury was offered, he fears; 

But when informed how royally the king 

Had us^d her and hers in everything. 

He prays the immortal gods they would reward 

Great Alexander for this good regard; 

And if they down his monarchy will throw. 

Let them on him this dignity bestow. 

And now for peace he sues, as once before. 

And offers all he did and kingdoms more. 

His eldest daughter for his princely bride, — 

Nor was such match in all the world beside, — 

And all those countries which betwixt did lie 

Phenician sea and great Euphrates high. 

With fertile Egypt, and rich Syria, 

And all those kingdoms in Less Asii, 

With thirty thousand talents to be paid 

For the queen mother and the royal maid; 

1 58 The Writings 0/ Mrs. Jnne Brsdstrut 

And till all this be well performed and aore 

Ochus his son for hostage should endure. 

To this stout Alexander gives no ear. 

No, though Parmenio plead, yet will not hear; 

Which had he done, perhaps his i^une he 'd kept. 

Nor in^uny had waked when he had slept. 

For his unlimited prosperity 

Him boundless made in vice and cruelty. 

Thus to Darius he writes back again: 

** The firmament two suns cannot contain; 

Two monarchies on earth cannot abide. 

Nor yet two monarchs in one world reside." 

The afflicted king, finding him set to jar. 

Prepares against to-morrow for the war. 

Parmenio Alexander wished that night 

To force his camp, so vanquish them by flight; 

For tumult in the night doth cause most dread. 

And weakness of a foe is covered. 

But he disdained to steal a vidory: 

The sun should witness of his valor be; 

And careless in his bed next mom he lies. 

By captains twice he 's called before he '11 rise. 

The armies joined, a while the Persians fight. 

And spilled the Greeks some blood before their flight; 

But long they stood not ere they 're forced to run. 

So made an end as soon as well begun. 

Forty-five thousand Alexander had. 

But 't is not known what slaughter here was made. 

The F9ur Monarchies 1 59 

Some write the other had a million, some more. 

But Quintus Curtius as was said before. 

At Arbela this vif^ory was gained. 

Together with the town also obtained. 

Darius, stripped of all, to Media came. 

Accompanied with sorrow, fear, and shame; 

At Arbela left ornaments and treasure 

Which Alexander deals as suits his pleasure. 

This conqueror to Babylon then goes. 

Is entertained with joy and pompous shows; 

With showers of flowers the streets along are strown. 

And incense burned the silver altars on. 

The glory of the castle he admires. 

The strong foundation and the lofty spires; 

In this a world of gold and treasure lay 

Which in few hours was carried all away. 

With greedy eyes he views this city round 

Whose fame throughout the world was so renowned. 

And to possess he counts no little bliss 

The towers and bowers of proud Semiramis; 

Though worn by time, and razed by foes full sore. 

Yet old foundations showed, and somewhat more. 

With all the pleasures that on earth are found 

This city did abundantly abound. 

Where four and thirty days he now did stay 

And gave himself to banqueting and play. 

He and his soldiers wax effeminate. 

And former discipline begin to hate. 

i6o The Writings of Mrs. Jnne Br^dstreet 

Whilst reveling at Babylon he lies, 

Antipater from Greece sends fresh supplies. 

He then to Shushan goes with his new bands. 

But needs no force; 't is rendered to his hands. 

He likewise here a world of treasure found. 

For 't was the seat of Persian kings renowned. 

Here stood the royal houses of delight 

Where kings have shown their glory, wealth, and might. 

The sumptuous palace of Queen Esther here. 

And of good Mordecai, her kinsman dear. 

Those purple hangings mixed with green and white. 

Those beds of gold and couches of delight. 

And furniture the richest in all lands 

Now fall into the Macedonian's hands. 

From Shushan to Persepolis he goes. 

Which news doth still augment Darius' woes. 

In his approach the governor sends word 

For his receipt with joy they all accord: 

With open gates the wealthy town did stand. 

And all in it was at his high command. 

Of all the cities that on earth were found 

None like to this in riches did abound. 

Though Babylon was rich, and Shushan, too. 

Yet to compare with this they might not do. 

Here lay the bulk of all those precious things 

That did pertain unto the Persian kings. 

For when the soldiers rifled had their pleasure. 

And taken money, plate, and golden treasure. 

Tbi Four MonMrebies i6i 

Statues, some gold, and silver numberless. 
Yet after all, as stories do express. 
The share of Alexander did amount 
To an hundred thousand talents by account. 
Here of his own he sets a garrison. 
As first at Shushan and at Babylon. 
On their old governors titles he laid. 
But on their faithfulness he never stayed — 
Their places gave to his captains, as was just. 
For such revolters false what king can trust? 
The riches and the pleasures of this town 
Now make this king his virtues all to drown. 
He walloweth in all licentiousness. 
In pride and cruelty to high excess. 
Being inflamed with wine upon a season. 
Filled with madness, and quite void of reason. 
He at a bold proud strumpet's lewd desire 
Commands to set this goodly town on fire. 
Parmenio wise entreats him to desist. 
And lays before his eyes, if he persist. 
His fame's dishonor, loss unto his state. 
And just procuring of the Persians' hate. 
But, deaf to reason, bent to have his will. 
Those stately streets with raging flame did fill. 
Then to Darius he direfts his way. 
Who was retired as far as Media, 
And there, with sorrows, fears, and cares surrounded. 
Had now his army fourth and last compounded, 
1 1 

1 62 The Writings $/ Mrs. Anne Brndstrut 

Which forty thousand made. Now his intent 

Was these in Baftria soon to augment; 

But, hearing Alexander was so near. 

Thought now this once to try his fortunes here. 

And rather choose an honorable death . 

Than still with infamy to draw his breath. 

But Bessus false, who was his chief conmuuider» 

Persuades him not to fight with Alexander. 

With sage advice he sets before his eyes 

The little hope of profit like to rise; 

If when he 'd multitudes the day he lost. 

Then with so few how likely to be crossed. 

This counsel for his safety he pretended. 

But to deliver him to his foe intended. 

Next day this treason to Darius known. 

Transported sore with grief and passi6n. 

Grinding his teeth, and plucking off his hair. 

He sat o'erwhelmed with sorrow and despair; 

Then bids his servant Artabazus true 

Look to himself, and leave him to that crew 

Who was of hopes and comforts quite bereft 

And by his guard and servitors all left. 

Straight Bessus comes, and with his traitorous hands 

Lays hold on his lord, and, binding him with bands. 

Throws him into a cart covered with hides, — 

Who, wanting means to resist these wrongs, abides, — 

Then draws the cart along with chains of gold 

In more despite the thralled prince to hold. 

The Four MonMrcbiis 163 

And thus toward Alexander on he goes. 

Great recompense for this he did propose. 

But some, detesting this his wicked hSt, 

To Alexander flies and tells this a£^. 

Who, doubling of his march, posts on amain 

Darius from that traitor's hands to gain. 

Bessus gets knowledge his disloyalty 

Had Alexander's wrath incensed high. 

Whose army now was almost within sight. 

His hopes being dashed, prepares himself for flight. 

Unto Darius first he brings a horse. 

And bids him save himself by speedy course. 

The woefid king his courtesy refuses. 

Whom thus the execrable wretch abuses: 

By throwing darts gave him his mortal wound. 

Then slew his servants that were faithful found. 

Yea, wounds the beasts that drew him unto death. 

And leaves him thus to gasp out his last breath. 

Bessus his partner in this tragedy 

Was the false governor of Media. 

This done, they with their host soon speed away 

To hide themselves remote in Ba^bia. 

Darius, bathed in blood, sends out his groans. 

Invokes the heavens and earth to hear his moans; 

His lost felicity did grieve him sore. 

But this unheard-of treachery much more — 

But above all that neither ear nor eye 

Should hear nor see his dying misery. 

164 The Writings of Mrs. Anne Brndstrtet 

As thus he lay, Polystratus, a Greek, 

Wearied with his long march, did water seek. 

So chanced these bloody horses to espy. 

Whose wounds had made their skins of purple dye; 

To them repairs, then, looking in the cart. 

Finds poor Darius piercti to the heart. 

Who, not a little cheered to have some eye 

The witness of this horrid tragedy. 

Prays him to Alexander to commend 

The just revenge of this his woefid end. 

And not to pardon such disloyalty 

Of treason, murder, and base cruelty — 

If not because Darius thus did pray. 

Yet that succeeding kings in safety may 

Their lives enjoy, their crowns, and dignity. 

And not by traitors' hands untimely die. 

He also sends his humble thankfulness 

For all the kingly grace he did express 

To his mother, children dear, and wife now gone. 

Which made their long restraint seem to be none; 

Praying the immortal gods that sea and land 

Might be subje£led to his royal hand. 

And that his rule as far extended be 

As men the rising, setting, sun shall see. 

This said, the Greek for water doth entreat 

To quench his thirst and to allay his heat. 

** Of all good things,*' quoth he, **once in my power, 

I 've nothing left, at this my dying hour. 

The FfiMT Menarcbies 165 

Thy service and compassion to reward; 

But Alexander will, for this regard." 

This said, his fainting breath did fleet away. 

And though a monarch late, now lies like clay. 

And thus must every son of Adam lie; 

Though gods on earth, like sons of men they die. 

Now to the East great Alexander goes 

To see if any dare his might oppose; 

For scarce the world or any bounds thereon 

Could bound his boundless fond ambition. 

Such as submit, again he doth restore 

Their riches, and their honors he makes more; 

On Arubazus more than all bestowed 

For his fidelity to his master showed. 

Thalcstris, queen of the Amazons, now brought 

Her train to Alexander, as 't is thought; 

Though most of reading best and soundest mind 

Such country there nor yet such people find. 

Than tell her errand we had better spare; 

To the ignorant her title will declare. 

As Alexander in his greatness grows. 

So daily of his virtues doth he lose: 

He baseness counts his former clemency. 

And not beseeming such a dignity; 

His past sobriety doth also 'bate. 

As most incompatible to his state; 

His temperance is but a sordid thing. 

Noways becoming such a mighty king. 

I lA 

1 66 The Writings 0/ Mrs. Jnne BrMdstreet 

His greatness now he ukea to represent 
His fancied gods above the firmament. 
And such as showed but reverence before 
Now are commanded stri6Uy to adore. 
With Persian robes himself doth dignify. 
Charging the same on his nobility; 
His manners, habits, gestures, all did fashion 
After that conquered and luxurious nation* 
His captains that were virtuously inclined 
Grieved at this change of manners and of mind; 
The ruder sort did openly deride 
His feigned deity and foolish pride. 
The certainty of both comes to his ears. 
But yet no notice takes of what he hears. 
With those of worth he still desires esteem. 
So heaps up gifts his credit to redeem. 
And for the rest new wars and travels finds 
That other matters might take up their minds. 
And hearing Bessus makes himself a king. 
Intends that traitor to his end to bring. 
Now that his host from luggage might be free. 
And with his burden no man burdened be. 
Commands forthwith each man his fardel bring 
Into the market-place before the king; 
Which done, sets fire upon those goodly spoils. 
The recompense of travels, wars, and toils. 
And thus unwisely in a madding fiime 
The wealth of many kingdoms did consume. 

Thg F9ur Mtmarehiis 167 

Bat marvel 't is that without mutiny 

The soldiers should let pass this injury; 

Nor wonder less to readers may it bring 

Here to observe the rashness of the king. 

Now with his army doth he post away 

False Bessus to find out in Baftria; 

But, much distressed for water in their march. 

The drought and heat their bodies sore did parch. 

At length they came to the river Ozus' brink. 

Where most immoderately these thirsty drink. 

Which more mortality to them did bring 

Than all their wars against the Persian king. 

Here Alexander 's almost at a stand 

To pass the river to the other land; 

Boats here are none, nor near it any wood 

To make them rafts to waft them o'er the flood. 

But he that was resolved in his mind 

Would without means some transportation find. 

Then from the carriages the hides he takes. 

And, stuffing them with straw, he bundles makes; 

On these together tied in six days' space 

They all pass over to the other place. 

Had Bessus there but valor to his will. 

With little pain he might have kept them still. 

Coward, he durst not fight, nor could he fly; 

Hated of all for his former treachery. 

He 's by his own now bound in iron chains, 

A collar of the same his neck contains. 

1 70 The Writings of Mrs. Jnne Bradstrat 

The vessels ready were at his comnuuid. 
And Omphisy king of that part of the land. 
Through his persuasion Alexander meets 
And as his sovereign lord him humbly greets. 
Fifty -six elephants he brings to his hand. 
And tenders him the strength of all his land; 
Presents himself first with a golden crown. 
Then eighty talents to his captains down. 
But Alexander made him to behold 
He glory sought, no silver, no, nor gold; 
His presents all with thanks he did restore. 
And of his own a thousand talents more. 
Thus all the Indian kings to him submit 
But Poms stout, who will not yield as yet. 
To him doth Alexander thus declare: 
His pleasure is that forthwith he repair 
Unto his kingdom's borders and, as due. 
His homage to himself as sovereign do. 
But kingly Porus this brave answer sent. 
That to attend him there was his intent. 
And come as well provided as he could; 
But for the rest his sword advise him should. 
Great Alexander, vexed at this reply. 
Did more his valor than his crown envy; 
He 's now resolved to pass Hydaspes' flood. 
And there by force his sovereignty make good. 
Stout Poms on the banks doth ready stand 
To give him welcome when he comes to land; 

The F9ur Monarchies 171 

A potent army with him, like a king. 
And ninety elephants for war did bring. 
Had Alexander such resistance seen 
On Tigris' side, here now he had not been. 
Within this spacious river, deep and wide. 
Did here and there isles full of trees abide. 
His army Alexander doth divide. 
With Ptolemy sends part to the other side; 
Poms encounters them, thinks all are there. 
When covertly the rest get o'er elsewhere. 
And whilst the first he valiantly assailed. 
The last set on his back, and so prevailed. 
Yet work enough here Alexander found. 
For to the last stout Poms kept his ground; 
Nor was it dishonor at length to yield 
When Alexander strives to win the field. 
The kingly captive 'fore the viftor 's brought; 
In looks or gesture not abased aught. 
But him a prince of an undaunted mind 
Did Alexander by his answers find. 
His fortitude his royal foe commends. 
Restores him, and his bounds farther extends. 
Now eastward Alexander would go still. 
But so to do his soldiers had no will; 
Long with excessive travels wearied. 
Could by no means be farther drawn or led. 
Yet that his fame might to posterity 
Be had in everlasting memory. 

1 7 2 The IFritings of Mrs. Anm BrMdstrut 

He for his camp a greater circuit takes. 

And for his soldiers larger cabins makes; 

His mangers he erected up so high 

As never horse his provender could eye; 

Huge bridles made, which here and there he left. 

Which might be found and for great wonders kept. 

Twelve altars then for monuments he rears. 

Whereon his a£ls and travels long appear; 

But doubting wearing time might these decay. 

And so his memory would fade away. 

He on the fair Hydaspes' pleasant side 

Two cities built, his name might there abide: 

First, Nicsea; the next, Bucephalon, 

Where he entombed his stately stallidn. 

His fourth and last supply was hither sent. 

Then down Hydaspes with his fleet he went* 

Some time he after spent upon that shore. 

Whither ambassadors, ninety or more. 

Came with submission from the Indian kings. 

Bringing their presents rare and precious things* 

These all he feasts in state on beds of gold. 

His furniture most sumptuous to behold; 

His meat and drink, attendants, everything. 

To the utmost showed the glory of a king. 

With rich rewards he sent them home again. 

Acknowledging their masters sovereign. 

Then sailing south and coming to that shore. 

Those obscure nations yielded as before. 

T^ Fattr MonarcbUs 173 

A city here he built, called by his name. 

Which could not sound too oft with too much fiune. 

Then sailing by the mouth of Indus' flood. 

His galleys stuck upon the flats and mud. 

Which the stout Macedonians amazed sore. 

Deprived at once the use of sail and oar. 

Observing well the nature of the tide. 

In those their fears they did not long abide. 

Passing fair Indus' mouth, his course he steered 

To the coast which by Euphrates' mouth appeared. 

Whose inlets near unto he winter spent. 

Unto his starved soldiers' small content — 

By hunger and by cold so many slain 

That of them all the fourth did scarce remain. 

Thus winter, soldiers, and provisions spent. 

From thence he then unto Gcdrosia went; 

And thence he marched into Carmania, 

And so at length drew near to Persia. 

Now through these goodly countries as he passed 

Much time in feasts and rioting did waste. 

Then visits Cyrus' scpulchcr in his way. 

Who now obscure at Pasargadac lay; 

Upon his monument his robe he spread. 

And set his crown on his supposed head. 

From thence to Babylon; some time there spent. 

He at the last to royal Shushan went. 

A wedding feast to his nobles then he makes. 

And Statira, Darius* daughter, takes; 

1 74 The Writings of Mrs. Annt BraJstrat 

Her sister gives to his Hephaestion dear. 
That by this match he might be yet more near. 
He fourscore Persian ladies also gave 
At this same time unto his captains brave. 
Six thousand guests unto this feast invites. 
Whose senses all were glutted with delights. 
It far exceeds my mean abilities 
To shadow forth these short felicities; 
Spe6lators here could scarce relate the story. 
They were so rapt with this external glory. 
If an ideal paradise a man would frame. 
He might this feast imagine by the same. 
To every guest a cup of gold he sends. 
So after many days the banquet ends. 
Now Alexander's conquests all are done. 
And his long travails past and overgone; 
His virtues dead, buried, and quite forgot. 
But vice remains to his eternal blot. 
' Mongst those that of his cruelty did taste 
Philotas was not least nor yet the last. 
Accused because he did not certify 
The king of treason and conspiracy. 
Upon suspicion being apprehended. 
Nothing was proved wherein he had ofiended 
But silence, which was of such consequence 
He was judged guilty of the same offense. 
But for his father's great deserts the king 
His royal pardon gave for this foul thing. 

The Four Monarchies 175 

Yet is Philotas unto judgment brought. 

Must suffer, not for what is proved, but thought. 

His master is accuser, judge, and king. 

Who to the height doth aggravate each thing. 

Inveighs against his father now absent. 

And his brethren who for him their lives had spent. 

But Philotas his unpardonable crime 

No merit could obliterate or time: 

He did the oracle of Jove deride 

By which His Majesty was deified. 

Philotas, thus o'ercharged with wrong and grief. 

Sunk in despair without hope of relief. 

Fain would have spoke and made his own defense; 

The king would give no ear, but went from thence. 

To his malicious foes delivers him 

To wreak their spite and hate on every limb. 

Philotas after him sends out this cry: 

**0 Alexander, thy free clemency 

My foes exceeds in malice, and their hate 

Thy kingly word can easily terminate." 

Such torments great as wit could worst invent 

Or flesh and life could bear till both were spent 

Were now inflicted on Parmenio's son. 

He might accuse himself, as they had done; 

At last he did, so they were justified. 

And told the world that for his guilt he died. 

But how these captains should, or yet their master. 

Look on Parmenio after this disaster 

1 76 The Writings of Mrs. Anne Bradstrai 

They knew not, wherefore best now to be done 

Was to despatch the ftther as the son. 

This sound advice at heart pleased Alexander, 

Who was so much engaged to this commander 

As he would ne'er confess nor yet reward. 

Nor could his captains bear so great regard; 

Wherefore at once, all these to satisfy. 

It was decreed Parmenio should die. 

Polydamas, who seemed Parmenio' s friend. 

To do this deed they into Media send; 

He walking in his garden to and fro. 

Fearing no harm, because he none did do. 

Most wickedly was slain without least crime. 

The most renowned captain of his time. 

This is Parmenio who so much had done 

For Philip dead and his surviving son. 

Who from a petty king of Macedon 

By him was set upon the Persian throne; 

This that Parmenio who still overcame. 

Yet gave his master the immortal fame; 

Who for his prudence, valor, care, and trust 

Had this reward, most cruel and unjust. 

The next who in untimely death had part 

Was one of more esteem but less desert — 

Clitus, beloved next to HephaestiSn, 

And in his cups his chief companidn. 

When both were drunk, Clitus was wont to jeer; 

Alexander to rage, to kill, and swear. 

Tbt Fnr MenArthUt 

Nothing more plouing to mad Clitiu' tongue 
Than his muter's godhead to defy and wrong; 
Nothing touched Alexander to the quick 
Like this against his deity to kick. 
Both at a feast, when they had tippled well. 
Upon this dangerous theme fond Clitoi fell; 
From jest to earnest, and at last so bold 
That of Parmenio'i death him plainly told. 
Which Alexander's wrath incensed so high 
Naught but his life for this could satisfy. 
Prom one stood by he siutched a partisan. 
And in a rage him through the body ran. 
Next day he tore his face for what he 'd done. 
And would have slain himself for Clitus gone; 
This poi companion he did more bemoan 
Than all ihc wrongs lo brave Parmenio done. 
The ncxi of worth (hat suffered after these 
Was learned, virtuous, wise Callisthenes, 
Who loved his master more than did the rest. 
As did appear in flattering him the least. 
In his esteem a god he could not be. 
Nor would adore him for a deity; 
For this alone, and for no other cause 
Against his sovereign or against his laws. 
He on ihe rack his limbs in pieces rent. 
Thus was he tonurcd lil! his life was spent. 
On \\\\% unkingly aft doth Seneca 
This censure pass, and not unwisely tay 

1 78 The Writings of Mrs, Anne Brads treet 

Of Alexander this the eternal crime. 

Which shall not be obliterate by time. 

Which virtue's fame can ne'er redeem by far. 

Nor all felicity of his in war. 

Whene'er 't is said he thousand thousands slew,- 

Yea, and Callisthenes to death he drew. 

The mighty Persian king he overcame, — 

Yea, and he killed Callisthenes of fame. 

All countries, kingdoms, provinces, he won 

From Hellespont to the farthest oceftn; 

All this he did, who knows not to be true? — 

But yet, withal, Callisthenes he slew. 

From Macedon his empire did extend 

Unto the utmost bounds of the orient; 

All this he did, yea, and much more, 't is true,- 

But yet, withal, Callisthenes he slew. 

Now Alexander goes to Media, 

Finds there the want of wise Parmenio. 

Here his chief favorite, Hephaestion, dies. 

He celebrates his mournful obsequies; 

Hangs his physician — the reason why. 

He suffered his friend Hephaestion die. 

This a6l, methinks, his godhead should ashame. 

To punish where himself deserved blame; 

Or of necessity he must imply 

The other was the greatest deity. 

The mules and horses are for sorrow shorn. 

The battlements from off* the walls are torn 

The Four Monarchies 179 

Of stately Ecbatana, who now must show 

A rueful face in this so general woe. 

Twelve thousand talents also did intend 

Upon a sumptuous monument to spend. 

Whate'er he did or though t, not so content. 

His messenger to Jupiter he sent. 

That by his leave his friend Hephaestion 

Among the demigods they might enthrone. 

From Media to Babylon he went; 

To meet him there to Antipater he 'd sent. 

That he might a^ also upon the stage 

And in a tragedy there end his age. 

The queen Olympias bears him deadly hate. 

Not suffering her to meddle with the state. 

And by her letters did her son incite 

This great indignity he should requite. 

His doing so no whit displeased the king. 

Though to his mother he disproved the thing. 

But now Antipater had lived so long 

He might well die, though he had done no wrong; 

His service great is suddenly forgot. 

Or, if remembered, yet regarded not. 

The king doth intimate 't was his intent 

His honors and his riches to augment, 

or larger provinces the rule to give. 

And for his counsel near the king to live. 

So to be caught Antipater 's too wise; 

Parmcnio*s death 's too fresh before his eyes. 

1 80 Tbi Writings of Mrs. Annt Bradstreet 

He was too subtile for his crafty foe. 

Nor by his baits could be ensnared so; 

But his excuse with humble thanks he sends. 

His age and journey long he then pretends. 

And pardon craves for his unwilling stay; 

He shows his grief he 's forced to disobey. 

Before his answer came to Babylon 

The thread of Alexander's life was spun; 

Poison had put an end to his days, 't was thought. 

By Philip and Cassander to him brought. 

Sons to Antipater, and bearers of his cup. 

Lest of such like their father chance to sup. 

But others thought, and that more generally. 

That through excessive drinking he did die. 

The thirty-third of his age do all agree 

This conqueror did yield to destiny. 

When this sad news came to Darius' mother. 

She laid it more to heart than any other. 

Nor meat, nor drink, nor comfort would she take. 

But pined in grief till life did her forsake; 

All friends she shunned, yea, banished the light. 

Till death enwrapped her in perpetual night. 

This monarch's fame must last whilst world doth stand. 

And conquests be talked of whilst there is land; 

His princely qualities had he retained. 

Unparalleled for ever had remained. 

But with the world his virtues overcame. 

And so with black beclouded all his fame. 

The F»ur Manartbiii I Si 

Wise Aristotle, tutor to hts youth. 

Had so instructed him in moril truth. 

The principles of what he then had le»med 

Might to the last, when $ober, b« discerned. 

Learning and learned men be much regirded. 

And curious artists evemjore rewirded. 

The Iliad of Homer he still kept. 

And under his pillow laid it when he slept. 

Achilles' happiness be did envy, 

'Cause Homer kept his afis to memory. 

Profusely bountiful without desert. 

For such u pleased him had both wealth and heart; 

Cruel by nature and by custom, too. 

As oft his afts throughout his reign do show; 

Ambitious so that naught could satisfy. 

Vain, (hirsling after immorlality, 

Slil! fearing that his name might hap to die. 

And fame not last unto eternity. 

This conqueror did oft lament, 't is said. 

There were no more worlds to be conquered. 

This folly great Augustus did deride. 

For had he had but wisdom to his pride 

He would have found enough there to be done 

To govern that he had already won. 

His thoughts are perished, he aspires no more. 

Nor can he kill or save as heretofore. 

A god alive, him all must idolize; 

Now like a mortal, helpless man he lies. 

1 82 The IFri tings of Mrs. Anne Bradstrttt 

Of all those kingdoms large which he had got 

To his posterity remained no jot; 

For by that hand which still revengeth blood 

None of his kindred nor his race long stood; 

But as he took delight much blood to spill. 

So the same cup to his did others fill. 

Four of his captains now do all divide. 

As Daniel before had prophesied. 

The leopard down, the four wings *gan to rise. 

The great horn broke, the less did tyrannize. 

What troubles and contentions did ensue 

We may hereafter show in season due. 


Great Alexander dead, his army 's left 

Like to that giant of his eye bereft. 

(When of his monstrous bulk it was the guide. 

His matchless force no creature could abide; 

But by Ulysses having lost his sight. 

All men began straight to contemn his might; 

For, aiming still amiss, his dreadful blows 

Did harm himself, but never reached his foes. ) 

Now court and camp all in confusion be. 

A king they Ml have, but who none can agree; 

Each captain wished this prize to bear away. 

But none so hardy found as so durst say. 

Great Alexander did leave issue none. 

Except by Artabazus' daughter one; 

The Four Monarchies 183 

And Rozane fair, whom late he married^ 

Was near her time to be delivered. 

By nature's right these had enough to claim. 

But meanness of their mothers barred the same. 

Alleged by those who by their subtile plea 

Had hope themselves to bear the crown away. 

A sister Alexander had, but she 

Claimed not; perhaps her sex might hindrance be. 

After much tumult they at last proclaimed 

His base-born brother, Arrhidseus named. 

That so under his feeble wit and reign 

Their ends they might the better still attain. 

This choice Perdiccas vehemently disclaimed. 

And babe unborn of Roxane he proclaimed. 

Some wished him to take the style of king. 

Because his master gave to him his ring. 

And had to him still since Hephaestion died 

More than the rest his favor testified; 

But he refused, with feigned modesty. 

Hoping to be ele6l more generally. 

He hold on this occasion should have laid. 

For second offer there was never made. 

'Mongst these contentions, tumults, jealousies. 

Seven days the corpse of their great master lies 

Untouched, uncovered, slighted, and neglefted. 

So much these princes their own ends rcspefted — 

A contemplation to astonish kings. 

That he who late possessed all earthly things. 

1 84 The fFritings of Mrs. Anne Bradstrut 

And yet not so content unless that he 

Might be esteemed for a deity. 

Now lay a spe6lacle to testify 

The wretchedness of man's mortality. 

After some time, when stirs began to calm. 

His body did the Egyptians embalm; 

His countenance so lively did appear 

That for a while they durst not come so near. 

No sign of poison in his entrails found. 

But all his bowels colored well and sound. 

Perdiccas, seeing Arrhidaeus must be king. 

Under his name began to rule each thing. 

His chief opponent who controlled his sway 

Was Meleager, whom he would take away; 

And by a wile he got him in his power. 

So took his life unworthily that hour. 

Using the name and the command of the king 

To authorize his a£b in everything. 

The princes, seeing Perdiccas' power and pride. 

For their security did now provide. 

Antigonus for his share Asia takes. 

And Ptolemy next sure of Egypt makes; 

Seleucus afterward held Babylon; 

Antipater had long ruled Macedon. 

These now to govern for the king pretend. 

But nothing less each one himself intends. 

Perdiccas took no province like the rest. 

But held command of the army, which was best. 

Tbe Four Monarchies 185 

And had a higher proje^ in his head — 

His master's sister secretly to wed. 

So to the lady covertly he sent. 

That none might know to frustrate his intent. 

But Cleopatra this suitor did deny 

For Leonnatus, more lovely in her eye. 

To whom she sent a message of her mind 

That if he came good welcome he should find. 

In these tumultuous days the thralled Greeks 

Their ancient liberty afresh now seek. 

And gladly would the yoke shake off laid on 

Sometime by Philip and his conquering son. 

The Athenians force Antipater to fly 

To Lamia, where he shut up doth lie. 

To brave Craterus then he sends with speed 

For succor to relieve him in his need. 

The like of Leonnatus he requires — 

Which at this time well suited his desires. 

For to Antipater he now might go. 

His lady take in the way, and no man know. 

Antiphilus, the Athenian general. 

With speed his army doth together call 

And Leonnatus seeks to stop, that so 

He join not with Antipater their foe. 

The Athenian army was the greater far. 

Which did his match with Cleopatra mar. 

For, fighting still while there did hope remain. 

The valiant chief amidst his foes was slain. 

1 86 The IVritings of Mrs. Anne Bradsinet 

'Mongst all the princes of great Alexander 

For person none was like to this commander. 

Now to Antipater Craterus goes. 

Blocked up in Lamia still by his foes; 

Long marches through Cilicia he makes. 

And the remains of Leonnatus takes. 

With them and his he into Grecia went, 

Antipater released from prisonment. 

After which time the Greeks did nevermore 

A^ anything of worth as heretofore. 

But under servitude their necks remained. 

Nor former liberty or glory gained. 

Now died, about the end of the Lamian war, 

Demosthenes, that sweet-tongued orator. 

Who feared Antipater would take his life 

For animating the Athenian strife. 

And to end his days by poison rather chose 

Than fall into the hands of mortal foes. 

Craterus and Antipater now join. 

In love and in affinity combine: 

Craterus doth his daughter Phila wed 

Their friendship might the more be strengthened. 

Whilst they in Macedon do thus agree. 

In Asia they all asunder be. 

Perdiccas grieved to see the princes bold 

So many kingdoms in their power to hold. 

Yet to regain them how he did not know; 

His soldiers 'gainst those captains would not go. 

The Four Monarchies 187 

To suffer them go on as they begun 

Was to give way himself might be undone. 

With Antipater to join he sometimes thought. 

That by his help the rest might low be brought. 

But this again dislikes; he would remain. 

If not in style, in deed a sovereign — 

For all the princes of great Alexander 

Acknowledged for chief that old commander. 

Desires the king to go to Macedon, 

Which once was of his ancestors the throne. 

And by his presence there to nullify 

The a£b of his viceroy now grown so high. 

Antigonus of treason first attaints. 

And summons him to answer his complaints. 

This he avoids, and ships himself and son. 

Goes to Antipater and tells what 's done. 

He and Craterus both with him do join. 

And 'gainst Perdiccas all their strength combine. 

Brave Ptolemy to make a fourth then sent. 

To save himself from danger imminent; 

In midst of these garboils, with wondrous state 

His master's funeral doth celebrate; 

In Alexandria his tomb he placed. 

Which eating time hath scarcely yet defaced. 

Two years and more since nature's debt he paid. 

And yet till now at quiet was not laid. 

Great love did Ptolemy by this a6l gain. 

And made the soldiers on his side remain. 

1 88 The Writings of Mrs. Anne Bradstreet 

Perdiccas hears his foes are all combined. 
'Gainst which to go he 's not resolved in mind» 
But first 'gainst Ptolemy he judged was best, — 
Nearest to him, and farthest from the rest, — 
Leaves Eumenes the Asian coast to free 
From the invasions of the other three. 
And with his army unto Egypt goes 
Brave Ptolemy to the utmost to oppose. 
Perdiccas' surly carriage and his pride 
Did alienate the soldiers from his side; 
But Ptolemy, by his affability. 
His sweet demeanor, and his courtesy. 
Did make his own firm to his cause remain. 
And from the other side did daily gain. 
Perdiccas in his pride did ill entreat 
Pithon, of haughty mind and courage great. 
Who could not brook so great indignity. 
But of his wrongs his friends doth certify; 
The soldiers 'gainst Perdiccas they incense. 
Who vow to make this captain recompense. 
And in a rage they, rushing to his tent. 
Knock out his brains; to Ptolemy then went 
And offer him his honors and his place. 
With style of the Prote£tor him to grace. 
Next day into the camp came Ptolemy, 
And is received of all most joyfully. 
Their proffers he refused with modesty. 
Yields them to Pithon for his courtesy. 

The Avr Menartbies i 

With what he held he wu now more content 

Than by more trouble to grow eminent. 

Now comes the newi of ■ great vi£iory 

That Eumenei got of the other three. 

Had it but in Perdiccas' life arrived 

With greater joy it would have been received. 

Thus Ptolemy rich Egypt did retain. 

And Pithon turned to Asii again. 

Whilst Perdiccas encamped in Africa, 

Antigonus did enter Asii, 

And fain would Eumenes draw to their side; 

But he alone most faithful did abide. 

The others all had kingdoms in their eye. 

But he was true to his master's family. 

Nor could Craterus, whom he much did love. 

From his fidelity once make him move. 

Two battles he fought, and had of both the best. 

And brave Craterus slew among the rest; 

For this sad strife he pours out his complaints. 

And his beloved foe full sore laments. 

I should but snip a story into bits. 

And his great a6)s and glory much eclipse. 

To show the dangers Eumenes befel. 

His stratagems wherein he did excel. 

His policies, how he did extricate 

Himself from out of labyrinths intricate. 

He that at large would satisfy his mind 

In Plutarch's Lives his history may find. 

I go The Writings of Mrs. Auui Bradstrtet 

For all that should be said let this suffice^ 

He was both valiant, faithful, patient, wise. 

Pithon 's now chosen protector of the state; 

His rule Queen Eurydice begins to hate. 

Sees Arrhidxus must not king it long 

If once young Alexander grow more strong. 

But that her husband serve for supplement 

To warm his seat was never her intent. 

She knew her birthright gave her Macedon, 

Grandchild to him who once sat on that throne. 

Who was Perdiccas, Philip's eldest brother. 

She daughter to his son, who had no other. 

Pithon commands, as oft she countermands; 

What he appoints, she purposely withstands. 

He, wearied out at last, would needs be gone. 

Resigned his place, and so let all alone. 

In his room the soldiers chose Antipater, 

Who vexed the queen more than the other hi. 

From Macedon to Asifl he came 

That he might settle matters in the same. 

He placed, displaced, controlled, ruled, as he list. 

And this no man durst question or resist; 

For all the nobles of King Alexander 

Their bonnets veiled to him as chief commander. 

When to his pleasure all things they had done. 

The king and queen he takes to Macedon, 

Two sons of Alexander, and the rest. 

All to be ordered there as he thought best. 

The Four Monarchies 191 

The army to Antigonus doth leave. 

And government of Asia to him gave; 

And thus Antipater the groundwork lays 

On which Antigonus his height doth raise. 

Who in few years the rest so overtops 

For universal monarchy he hopes. 

With Eumenes he divers battles fought. 

And by his sleights to circumvent him sought; 

But vain it was to use his policy 

'Gainst him that all deceits could scan and try. 

In this epitome too long to tell 

How finely Eumenes did here excel. 

And by the self-same traps the other laid 

He to his cost was righteously repaid. 

But while these chieftains do in Asia fight. 

To Greece and Macedon let 's turn our sight. 

When great Antipater the world must leave. 

His place to Polysperchon he did bequeath. 

Fearing his son Cassander was unstaid. 

Too rash to bear that charge, if on him laid. 

Antigonus, hearing of his decease. 

On most part of Assyria doth seize. 

And Ptolemy next to encroach begins; 

All Syria and Phenicia he wins. 

Then Polysperchon begins to aft in his place. 

Recalls Olympias the court to grace. 

Antipater had banished her from thence 

Into Epirus for her great turbulence; 

192 The Writings of Mrs. Amm Br ads tr at 

This new prote£tor 's of another mindy 

Thinks by her majesty much help to find. 

Cassander like his father could not see 

This Polysperchon's great ability. 

Slights his commands, his adtions he disclaims. 

And to be chief himself now bends his aims. 

Such as his father had advanced to place. 

Or by his favors any way had graced. 

Are now at the devotion of the son. 

Pressed to accomplish what he would have done. 

Besides, he was the young queen's ftvorite. 

On whom, 't was thought, she set her chief delight. 

Unto these helps at home he seeks out more. 

Goes to Antigonus and doth implore. 

By all the bonds 'twizt him and his ftther put. 

And for that great gift which he gave him last. 

By these and all to grant him some supply 

To take down Polysperchon grown so high. 

For this Antigonus did need no spurs. 

Hoping to gain yet more by these new stirs. 

Straight furnished him with a sufficient aid. 

And so he quick returns thus well appaid; 

With ships at sea, an army for the land. 

His proud opponent he hopes soon to withstand. 

But in his absence Polysperchon takes 

Such friends away as for his interest makes 

By death, by prison, or by banishment. 

That no supply by these here might be lent. 

The Four Monarchies 193 

Cassander with his host to Grecia goes. 

Whom Polysperchon labors to oppose. 

But beaten was at sea and foiled at land. 

Cassander' s forces had the upper hand. 

Athens with many towns in Greece beside 

Firm for his father's sake to him abide. 

Whilst hot in wars these two in Greece remain, 

Antigonus doth all in Asia gain; 

Still labors Eumenes would with him side. 

But all in vain; he faithful did abide. 

Nor mother could nor sons of Alexander 

Put trust in any but in this commander. 

The great ones now begin to show their mind. 

And a6l as opportunity they find. 

Arrhidxus, the scorned and simple king. 

More than he bidden was could a£l no thing. 

Polysperchon, for office hoping long. 

Thinks to enthrone the prince when riper grown. 

Eurydice this injury disdains. 

And to Cassander of this wrong complains. 

Hateful the name and house of Alexander 

Was to this proud and vindictive Cassander; 

He still kept locked within his memory 

His father's danger, with his family. 

Nor thought he that indignity was small 

When Alexander knocked his head to the wall. 

These, with his love unto the amorous queen. 

Did make him vow her servant to be seen. 


1 94 The Writings of Mrs, Anne Bradstreet 

Olympias Arrhidaeus deadly hates. 
As all her husband's children by his mates; 
She gave him poison formerly, 't is thought. 
Which damage both to mind and body brought. 
She now with Polysperchon doth combine 
To make the king by force his seat resign. 
And her young grandchild in his state enthrone. 
That under him she might rule all alone. 
For aid she goes to Epirus among her friends 
The better to accomplish these her ends. 
Eurydice, hearing what she intends. 
In haste unto her friend Cassander sends 
To leave his siege at Tegea, and with speed 
To save the king and her in this their need; 
Then by entreaties, promises, and coin 
Some forces did procure with her to join. 
Olympias soon enters Macedon. 
The queen to meet her bravely marches on; 
But when her soldiers saw their ancient queen. 
Calling to mind what sometime she had been, — 
The wife and mother of their famous kings, — 
Nor darts nor arrows now none shoots or flings. 
The king and queen, seeing their destiny. 
To save their lives to Amphipolis do fly; 
But the old queen pursues them with her hate. 
And needs will have their lives as well as state. 
The king by extreme torments had his end. 
And to the queen these presents she did send — 

The Four Monarchies 195 

A halter, cup of poison, and a sword. 

Bids choose her death, such kindness she Ml afford. 

The queen, with many a curse and bitter check. 

At length yields to the halter her fair neck. 

Praying that fatal day might quickly haste 

On which Olympias of the like might taste. 

This done, the cruel queen rests not content. 

'Gainst all that loved Cassander she was bent: 

His brethren, kinsfolk, and his chiefest friends 

That fell within her reach came to their ends; 

Digged up his brother dead, 'gainst nature's right. 

And threw his bones about to show her spite. 

The courtiers, wondering at her furious mind. 

Wished in Epinis she 'd been still confined. 

In Peloponnesus then Cassander lay. 

Where hearing of this news he speeds away; 

With rage and with revenge he 's hurried on 

To find this cruel queen in Macedon. 

But being stopped at strait Thermopylae, 

Sea-passage gets, and lands in Thessaly; 

His army he divides, sends part away 

Polysperchon to hold a while in play. 

And with the rest Olympias pursues 

For all her cruelty to give her dues. 

She with the chief of court to Pydna flies; 

Well fortified and on the sea it lies; 

There by Cassander she 's blocked up so long 

Until the famine grows exceeding strong. 

196 The Writings of Mrs. Anm Bradstreit 

Her cousin of Epinis did what he might 

To raise the siege and put her foes to flight; 

Cassander is resolved there to remain. 

So succors and endeavors prove but vain. 

Fain would this wretched queen capitulate; 

Her foe would give no ear, such is his hate. 

The soldiers, pinched with this scarcity. 

By stealth unto Cassander daily fly. 

Olympias means to hold out to the last, 

£xpe£ting nothing but of death to taste; 

But his occasions calling him away. 

Gives promise for her life, so wins the day. 

No sooner had he got her in his hand 

But he made in judgment her accusers stand 

And plead the blood of friends and kindred spilt. 

Desiring justice might be done for guilt; 

And so was he acquitted of his word. 

For justice' sake she being put to the sword. 

This was the end of this most cruel queen. 

Whose fury scarcely paralleled hath been — 

The daughter, sister, mother, wife, to kings; 

But royalty no good conditions brings. 

To her husband's death, 't is thought, she gave consent. 

The murderer she did so much lament. 

With garlands crowned his head, bemoaned his ftte. 

His sword did to Apollo consecrate. 

Her outrages too tedious are to relate — 

How for no cause but her inveterate hate 

The Four Monarchies 197 

Her husband's wives and children after his death 
Some slewy some fried, of others stopped the breath. 
Now in her age she 's forced to taste that cup 
Which she had others often made to sup. 
Now many towns in Macedon suppressed. 
And Pella 's fain to yield among the rest. 
The funerals Cassander celebrates 
Of Arrhidxus and his queen with state; 
Among their ancestors by him they 're laid. 
And shows of lamentation for them made. 
Old Thebes he then rebuilt, so much of fame. 
And Cassandria raised after his name. 
But leave him building, others in their urn; 
Let 's for a while now into Asia turn. 
True Eumenes endeavors by all skill 
To keep Antigonus from Shushan still; 
Having command of the treasure, he can hire 
Such as no threats nor favor could acquire. 
In divers battles he had good success; 
Antigonus came off still honorless. 
When victor oft he 'd been, and so might still, 
Peuccstes did betray him by a wile 
To Antigonus, who took his life unjust 
Because he never would forego his trust. 
Thus lost he all for his fidelity. 
Striving to uphold his master's family. 
But to a period as that did haste. 
So Eumenes, the prop, of death must taste. 

198 The Writings of Mrs. Autu Bradstrnt 

All Persia now Antigonus doth gain. 

And master of the treasure sole remain. 

Then with Seleucus straight at odds doth Ml, 

And he for aid to Ptolemy doth call. 

The princes all begin now to envy 

Antigonus, he growing up so high; 

Fearing his force and what might hap ere long. 

Enter into a combination strong: 

Seleucus, Ptolemy, Cassander, join, 

Lysimachus to make a fourth combines. 

Antigonus, desirous of the. Greeks, 

To make Cassander odious to them seeks. 

Sends forth his declarations near and ftr. 

And clears what cause he had to make thu war; 

Cassander' s outrages at large doth tell. 

Shows his ambitious pra£tices as well: 

The mother of their king to death he 'd put. 

His wife and son in prison close had shut; 

And aiming now to make himself a king. 

And that some title he might seem to bring, 

Thessalonica he had newly wed. 

Daughter to Philip, their renowned head; 

Had built and called a city by his name. 

Which none e'er did but those of royal fame; 

And in despite of their two famous kings 

Hateful Olynthians to Greece rebrings; 

Rebellious Thebes he had reedified. 

Which their late king in dust had danmified. 

The Four Monarchies 199 

Requires them therefore to take up their arms 

And to requite this traitor for these harms. 

Then Ptolemy would gain the Greeks likewise. 

And he declares the other's injuries: 

First how he held the empire in his hands, 

Seleucus driven from government and lands. 

The valiant Eumenes unjustly slain. 

And lord of royal Shushan did remain; 

Therefore requests their help to take him down 

Before he wear the universal crown. 

These princes at the sea soon had a fight. 

Where great Antigonus was put to flight. 

His son at Gaza likewise lost the field. 

So Syria to Ptolemy did yield. ^ 

And Seleucus recovers Babylon; 

Still gaining countries eastward he goes on. 

Demetrius with Ptolemy did fight. 

And, coming unawares, put him to flight; 

But bravely sends the prisoners back again. 

With all the spoil and booty he had ta'en — 

Courteous as noble Ptolemy, or more. 

Who at Gaza did the like to him before. 

Antigonus did much rejoice his son 

With viftory his lost repute had won. 

At last these princes, tired out with wars. 

Sought for a peace, and laid aside their jars. 

The terms of their agreement thus express. 

That each should hold what now he did possess 

200 The fFritmgs of Mrs. Jam BrMdstrut 

Till Alexander unto age was grown. 

Who then should be installed in the throne. 

This touched Cassander sore for what he 'd done^ 

Imprisoning both the mother and the son. 

He sees the Greeks now ftvor their young prince 

Whom he in durance held now and long since; 

That in few years he must be forced or glad 

To render up such kingdoms as he had; 

Resolves to quit his fears by one deed done. 

So puts to death the mother and her son. 

This Roxane for her beauty all commend. 

But for one act she did just was her end: 

No sooner was great Alexander dead 

But she Darius' daughters murdered — 

Both thrown into a well to hide her blot; 

Perdiccas was her partner in this plot. 

The heavens seemed slow in paying her the same. 

But at the last the hand of vengeance came. 

And for that double fa£t which she had done 

The life of her must go and of her son. 

Perdiccas' had before for his amiss. 

But by their hands who thought not once of this. 

Cassander' s deed the princes do detest. 

But 't was in show; in heart it pleased them best. 

That he is odious to the world they 're glad. 

And now they were free lords of what they had. 

When this foul tragedy was past and done, 

Polysperchon brings up the other son 

Tbe Fcur Monarcbies 201 

Called HerculeSy and elder than his brother. 

But Olympias would have preferred the other. 

The Greeks, touched with the murder done of late. 

This orphan prince began to compassionate. 

Begin to mutter much 'gainst proud Cassander, 

And place their hopes on the heir of Alexander. 

Cassander feared what might of this ensue. 

So Polysperchon to his counsel drew. 

And gives Peloponnesus for his hire. 

Who slew the prince according to desire. 

Thus was the race and house of Alexander 

Extinct by this inhuman wretch Cassander. 

Antigonus for all this doth not mourn; 

He knows to his profit this at last will turn. 

But that some title now he might pretend 

To Cleopatra doth for marriage send. 

Lysimachus and Ptolemy the same. 

And lewd Cassander, too, sticks not for shame. 

She then in Lydia at Sardis lay. 

Where by embassage all these princes pray. 

Choice above all of Ptolemy she makes; 

With his ambassador her journey takes. 

Antigonus' lieutenant stays her still 

Until he further know his master's will. 

Antigonus now had a wolf by the ears: 

To hold her still or let her go he fears; 

Resolves at last the princess should be slain. 

So hinders him of her he could not gain. 

Z02 The fFritsngs of Mrs. Anne Bradstreet 

Her women are appointed for this deed; 

They for their great reward no better speed. 

For by command they straight were put to death 

As vile conspirators that stopped her breath. 

And now he hopes he 's ordered all so well 

The world must needs believe what he doth tell. 

Thus Philip's house was quite extinguished. 

Except Cassander's wife, who 's yet not dead. 

And by their means who thought of nothing less 

Than vengeance just against them to express. 

Now blood was paid with blood for what was done 

By cruel father, mother, cruel son. 

Thus may we hear, and fear, and ever say. 

That Hand is righteous still which doth repay. 

These captains now the style of kings do take. 

For to their crowns there 's none can title make. 

Demetrius first the royal style assumed. 

By his example all the rest presumed. 

Antigonus, himself to ingratiate. 

Doth promise liberty to Athens' state; 

With arms and with provision stores them well. 

The better 'gainst Cassander to rebel. 

Demetrius thither goes, is entertained 

Not like a king, but like some god they feigned; 

Most grossly base was their great adulation. 

Who incense burnt, and ofiered oblation. 

These kings afresh fall to their wars again. 

Demetrius of Ptolemy doth gain. 

The Four Monarchies 203 

'T would be an endless story to relate 

Their several battles and their several fate. 

Their fights by sea, their viflories by land. 

How some when down straight got the upper hand. 

Antigonus and Seleucus then fight 

Near Ephesus, each bringing all his might. 

And he that conqueror shall now remain 

The lordship of all Asia shall retain. 

This day 'twixt these two kings ends all the strife 

For here Antigonus lost rule and life. 

Nor to his son did e'er one foot remain 

Of those vast kingdoms he did sometime gain. 

Demetrius with his troops to Athens flies, 

Hopes to find succor in h'ls miseries; 

But they, adoring in prosperity. 

Now shut their gates in his adversity. 

He, sorely grieved at this his desperate state, 

Tries foes, sith friends will not compassionate. 

His peace he then with old Seleucus makes. 

Who his fair daughter Stratonice takes. 

Antiochus, Seleucus' dear loved son, 

Is for this fresh young lady quite undone; 

Falls so extremely sick all feared his life. 

Yet durst not say he loved his father's wife. 

When his disease the skilled physician found. 

His father's mind he wittily did sound. 

Who did no sooner understand the same 

But willingly resigned the beauteous dame. 

204 The IFritings of Mrs. Jgiti Bradstrat 

Cassander now must die, his race is mn. 
And leave the ill got kingdoms he had won. 
Two sons he left, born of King Philip's daughter. 
Who had an end put to their days by slaughter. 
Which should succeed at variance they fell; 
The mother would the youngest might excel; 
The eldest, enraged, did play the viper's part. 
And with his sword did run her through the heart. 
Rather than Philip's race should longer live. 
He whom she gave his life her death shall give. 
This by Lysimachus was after slain. 
Whose daughter he not long before had ta'en. 
Demetrius is called in by the youngest son 
Against Lysimachus, who from him won; 
But he a kingdom more than his friend did eye. 
Seized upon that, and slew him traitorously. 
Thus Philip's and Cassander's race both gone. 
And so falls out to be eztin£t in one. 
And though Cassander died in his bed. 
His seed to be extirpt was destined; 
For blood which was decreed that he should spill 
Yet must his children pay for father's ill. 
Jehu in killing Ahab's house did well; 
Yet be avenged must blood of Jezebel. 
Demetrius thus Cassander's kingdoms gains. 
And now in Macedon as king he reigns. 
Though men and money both he hath at will. 
In neither finds content if he sits still. 

The Four Monarchies 205 

That Seleucus holds Asia grieves him sore; 

Those countries large his father got before. 

These to recover musters all his might. 

And with his son-in-law will needs go fight; 

A mighty navy rigged, an army stout. 

With these he hopes to turn the world about. 

Leaving Antigonus, his eldest son. 

In his long absence to rule Macedon. 

Demetrius with so many troubles met 

As heaven and earth against him had been set; 

Disaster on disaster him pursue. 

His story seems a fable more than true. 

At last he 's taken and imprisoned 

Within an isle that was with pleasures fed; 

Enjoyed whate'cr beseemed his royalty, 

Only restrained of his liberty. 

After three years he died, left what he 'd won 

In Greece unto Antigonus his son; 

For his posterity unto this day 

Did ne'er regain one foot in Asii. 

His body Seleucus sends to his son. 

Whose obsequies with wondrous pomp were done. 

Next died the brave and noble Ptolemy, 

Renowned for bounty, valor, clemency; 

Rich Egypt left, and what else he had won. 

To Philadelphus, his more worthy son. 

Of the old heroes now but two remain. 

Seleucus and Lysimachus, these twain. 

2o6 The Writings of Mrs. Anne Brndstnet 

Must needs go try their fortune and their might. 

And so Lysimachus was slain in fight. 

'T was no small joy unto Seleucot* breast 

That now he had outlived all the rest; 

Possession of Europe he thinks to take. 

And so himself the only monarch make. 

While with these hopes in Greece he did remain 

He was by Ptolemy Ceraunus slain. 

The second son of the first Ptolemy, 

Who for rebellion unto him did fly. 

Seleucus was a father and a friend. 

Yet by him had this most unworthy end* 

Thus with these kingly captains have we done. 

A little now how the succession ran: 

Antigonus, Seleucus, and Cassander, 

With Ptolemy, reigned after Alexander; 

Cassander' s sons soon after his death were slain. 

So three successors only did remain; 

Antigonus his kingdoms lost and life 

Unto SeleucuSy author of that stnfe; 

His son Demetrius all Cassander' s gains. 

And his posterity the same retains; 

Demetrius' son was called Antigonus, 

And his again was named Demetrius. 

I must let pass those many battles fought 

Betwixt those kings and noble Pyrrhus stout 

And his son Alexander of Epire, 

Whereby immortal honor they acquire. 


The Four Monarchies 207 

Demetrius had Philip to his son. 

Part of whose kingdoms Titus Quintius won; 

Philip had Perseus, who was made a thrall 

To iEmiliuSy the Roman general — 

Him with his sons in triumph lead did he. 

Such riches, too, as Rome did never see. 

This of Antigonus his seed 's the fate. 

Whose empire was subdued to the Roman state. 

Longer Seleucus held the royalty 

In Syria by his posterity. 

Antiochus Soter his son was named. 

To whom the old Berosus, so much famed. 

His book of Assur's monarchs dedicates. 

Tells of their names, their wars, their riches, fates; 

But this is perished with many more. 

Which oft we wish was extant as before. 

Antiochus Theos was Sotcr's son. 

Who a long war with Egypt's king begun; 

The affinities and wars Daniel sets forth. 

And calls them there the kings of south and north. 

This Theos murdered was by his lewd wife. 

Seleucus reigned when he had lost his life. 

A third Seleucus next sits on the seat. 

And then Antiochus surnamed the Great, 

Whose large dominions after were made small 

By Scipio, the Roman general. 

Fourth Seleucus Antiochus succeeds. 

And next Epiphanes, whose wicked deeds. 

2o8 Tbi Writings of Mrs. Anm Brddstrat 

Horrid massacres, murders, cnieltiei. 
Amongst the Jews we read in Maccabees* 
Antiochus Eupator was the next. 
By rebels and impostors daily vexed; 
So many princes still were murdered 
The royal blood was nigh extinguished. 
Then Tigranes, the great Armenian king. 
To take the government was called in; 
Lucullus him — the Roman general — 
Vanquished in fight, and took those kingdoms all. 
Of Greece and Syria thus the rule did end. 
In Egypt next a little time we '11 spend. 
First, Ptolemy being dead, his famous son 
Called Philadelphus did possess the throne. 
At Alexandria a library did build. 
And with seven hundred thousand volumes filled. 
The seventy-two interpreters did seek 
They might translate the Bible into Greek. 
His son was Evergetes, the last prince 
That valor showed, virtue, or excellence. 
Philopator was Evergetes' son. 
After, Epiphanes sat on the throne, 
Philometor, Evergetes again. 
And after him did false Lathyrus reign; 
Then Alexander in Lathyrus' stead; 
Next, Auletes, who cut offPompey's head. 
To all these names we Ptolemy must add. 
For since the first they still that title had. 

The Four Monarchies 209 

Fair Cleopatra next, last of that race. 

Whom Julius Cxsar set in royal place. 

She, with her paramour. Marc Antony, 

Held for a time the Egyptian monarchy. 

Till great Augustus had with him a fight 

At A6lium, where his navy was put to flight; 

He, seeing his honor lost, his kingdom end. 

Did by his sword his life soon after send. 

His brave virago asps sets to her arms 

To take her life and quit her from all harms; 

For 't was not death nor danger she did dread. 

But some disgrace in triumph to be led. 

Here ends at last the Grecian monarchy. 

Which by the Romans had its destiny. 

Thus kings and kingdoms have their times and dates. 

Their standings, overturnings, bounds, and fates; 

Now up, now down, now chief, and then brought 

The heavens thus rule to fill the world with 

The Assyrian monarchy long time did stand. 
But yet the Persian got the upper hand; 
The Grecian them did utterly subdue. 
And millions were subjedled unto few. 
The Grecian longer than the Persian stood. 
Then came the Roman like a raging flood. 
And with the torrent of his rapid course 
Their crowns, their titles, riches, bears by force. 


2 1 o The Writings of Mrs. Anne Brndstreet 

The first was likened to a head of gold; 
Next, arms and breast of silver to behold; 
The third, belly and thighs of brass in sight; 
And last was iron, which breaketh all with might. 
The stone out of the mountain then did rise 
And smote those feet, those legs, those arms, and 

Then gold, silver, brass, iron, and all the store 
Became like chaff* upon the threshing floor. 
The first a lion, second was a bear. 
The third a leopard which four wings did rear; 
The last more strong and dreadful than the rest. 
Whose iron teeth devoured tytry beast. 
And when he had no appetite to eat 
The residue he stamped under his feet. 
Yet shall this lion, bear, this leopard, ram. 
All trembling stand before the powerful Lamb. 
With these three monarchies now have I done. 
But how the fourth their kingdoms from them won. 
And how from small beginnings it did grow 
To fill the world with terror and with woe. 
My tired brain leaves to some better pen. 
This task befits not women like to men. 
For what is past I blush excuse to make. 
But humbly stand some grave reproof to take. 
Pardon to crave for errors is but vain; 
The subje£t was too high beyond my strain. 

The Four Monarchies 211 

To frame apology for some offense 
Converts our boldness into impudence. 
This my presumption some now to requite, 
Ne sutor ultra crepidam may write. 

The End of tbi Gncian Monarchy, 


After some days of rest my restless heart 

To finish what '/ begun new thoughts impart ^ 

And maugre all resolves my fancy wrought 

This fourth to the other three now might be brought. 

Shortness of time and inability 

Will force me to a confused brevity; 

Tet in this chaos one shall easily spy 

The vast limbs of a mighty monarchy, 

Whate* er is found amiss take in good part 

As faults proceeding from my heady not heart. 

212 The Writings of Mrs. Anm Br ads tree t 

MUNDI 3213. 

Stout Romulusy Rome's founder and first king. 

Whom vestal Rhea to the world did bring. 

His father was not Mars, as some devised. 

But Amulius in armor all disguised. 

Thus he deceived his niece she might not know 

The double injury he then did do. 

Where shepherds once had coats and sheep their folds. 

Where swains and rustic peasants kept their holds, 

A city fair did Romulus ere6l. 

The mistress of the world in etch respect. 

His brother Remus there by him was slain 

For leaping o'er the wall with some disdain. 

The stones at first were cemented with blood. 

And bloody hath it proved since first it stood. 

This city built, and sacrifices done, 

A form of government he next begun; 

A hundred senators he likewise chose. 

And with the style of Patres honored those. 

His city to replenish men he wants; 

Great privileges then to all he grants 

That will within those strong built walls reside. 

And this new gentle government abide. 

Of wives there was so great a scarcity 

They to their neighbors sue for a supply. 

The Four Monarchies 213 

But all disdain alliance then to make. 
So Romulus was forced this course to take: 
Great shows he makes at tilt and tournament; 
To see these sports the Sabines all are bent; 
Their daughters by the Romans then were caught. 
Then to recover them a field was fought; 
But in the end to final peace they come. 
And Sabines as one people dwelt in Rome. 
The Romans now more potent begin to grow. 
And Fidenates they wholly overthrow. 
But Romulus then comes unto his end. 
Some feigning to the gods he did ascend; 
Others the seven and thirtieth of his reign 
Affirm that by the Senate he was slain. 


Numa Pompilius next chose they king. 
Held for his piety some sacred thing. 
To Janus he that famous temple built 
Kept shut in peace, set ope when blood was spilt; 
Religious rites and customs instituted. 
And priests and flamens likewise he deputed. 
Their augurs strange, their gestures and attire. 
And vestal maids to keep the holy fire. 
The nymph i^geria this to him told. 
So to delude the people he was bold. 
Forty- three years he ruled with generous praise. 
Accounted for a god in after days. 

2 1 4 The Writings of Mrs. Anne BrndstrM 


Tullus Hostilius was third Roman king. 

Who martial discipline in use did bring. 

War with the ancient Albans he did wage. 

This strife to end six brothers did engage. 

Three called Horatii on the Romans' aide. 

And Curiatii three Albans provide. 

The Romans conquer, the others yield the day. 

Yet in their compa6l after false they play. 

The Romans, sore incensed, their general slay. 

And from old Alba fetch the wealth away. 

Of Latin kings this was long since the seat. 

But now demolished to make Rome great. 

Thirty-two years did Tullus reign, then die. 

Left Rome in wealth and power still growing high. 


Next Ancus Marcius sits upon the throne. 
Nephew unto Pompilius dead and gone. 
Rome he enlarged, new built again the wall 
Much stronger, and more beautiful withal. 
A stately bridge he over Tiber made. 
Of boats and oars no more they need the aid. 
Fair Ostia he built; this town it stood 
Close by the mouth of famous Tiber flood. 
Twenty-four years time of his royal race. 
Then unto death unwillingly gives place. 

The Four Monarchies 215 


Tarquin, a Greek at Corinth bom and bred. 
Who from his country for sedition fled. 
Is entertained at Rome, and in short time 
By wealth and favor doth to honor climb. 
He after Marcius' death the kingdom had. 
A hundred senators he more did add. 
Wars with the Latins he again renews. 
And nations twelve of Tuscany subdues. 
To such rude triumphs as young Rome then had 
Some state and splendor did this Priscus add. 
Thirty-eight years this stranger bom did reign. 
And after all by Ancus' sons was slain. 


Next Servius Tullius gets into the throne; 

Ascends not up by merits of his own. 

But by the favor and the special grace 

Of Tanaquil, late queen, obtains the place. 

He ranks the people into each degree 

As wealth had made them of ability; 

A general muster takes, which by account 

To eighty thousand souls then did amount. 

Forty-four years did Servius Tullius reign. 

And then by Tarquin Priscus' son was slain. 

2 1 6 Tbi WritiMgs •/ Mrs. Ami§ Bradstrm 


Tarquin the proud, from manners odl^d so» 
Sat on the throne when he had slain his fee* 
Sextus, hb son, did most unworthily 
Lucretia force, mirror of chastity; 
She loathed so the fad, she loathed her life» 
And shed her guiltless blood with guilty knife. 
Her husband, sore incensed to quit this wrong. 
With Junius Brutus rose, and being strong 
The Tarquins they from Rome by force expel. 
In banishment perpetual to dwell; 
The government they change, a new one bring. 
And people swear ne'er to accept of king. 

The Four Monarchies 217 

An Apology, 

To finish what '/ begun was my in tent 9 
My thoughts and my endeavors thereto bent; 
Essays I many made, but still gave out. 
The more I mused, the more I was in doubt — 
The subje8 large, my mind and body weak. 
With many more discouragements did speak. 
All thoughts of further progress laid aside. 
Though oft persuaded, I as oft denied. 
At length resolved, when many years had passed. 
To prosecute my story to the last; 
And for the same I hours not few did spend. 
And weary lines, though lank, I many penned. 
But ^fore 1 could accomplish my desire 
My papers fell a prey to the raging fire. 
And thus my pains, with better things, I lost. 
Which none bad cause to wail, nor I to boast. 
No more 1 ' // do, since I have suffered wreck. 
Although my Monarchies their legs do lack. 
Nor matter is it this last, the world now sees. 
Hath many ages been upon his knees. 


Alas, dear mother, direst queen uid best. 
With honor, wealth, and peace happy utd blcM, 
What ails thee hang thy head, and crow th'me utM, 
And sit in the dust to ligh these tid ■lirmi ? 
What deluge of new woes thui overwhelms 
The glories of thy ever ftmous realm ? 
What means (his wailing tone, this mournfiil guise ? 

• Ah, tell thy daughter, she tnay sympathize. 

Art ignorant indeed of these my woes. 
Or must my forced tongue these griefs discloie. 
And must myself disseA my tattered state. 
Which amazed Christendom stands wondering at 7 
And thou a child, a limb, and dost not feel 

• My fainting, weakened body now to reel ? 

A Dialogue between Old England and New 219 

This physic purging potion I have taken 
Will bring consumption or an ague-quaking 
Unless some cordial thou fetch from high. 
Which present help may ease my malady. 
If I decease, dost think thou shalt survive ? 
Or by my wasting state dost think to thrive ? • 
Then weigh our case if it be not justly sad. 
Let me lament alone, while thou art glad. 


And thus, alas, your state you much deplore 

In general terms, but will not say wherefore. 

What medicine shall I seek to cure this woe • 

If the wound so dangerous I may not know. 

But you, perhaps, would have mc guess it out. 

What, hath some Hengist like that Saxon stout 

By fraud or force usurped thy flowering crown. 

Or by tempestuous wars thy fields trod down ? 

Or hath Canutus, that brave valiant Dane, 

The regal peaceful scepter from thee ta'en ? 

Or is it a Norman whose viftorious hand 

With English blood bedews thy conquered land ? 

Or is it intestine wars that thus ofl^end ? 

Do Maud and Stephen for the crown contend ? 

Do barons rise and side against their king. 

And call in foreign aid to help the thing ? 

Must Edward be deposed ? Or is it the hour 

That second Richard must be clapped in the tower ? 

220 The Writings rf Mrs, Anne Braisireet 

Or is it the fatal jar, again begun. 
That from the red-white pricking roses sprung ? 
Must Richmond's aid the nobles now implore 
To come and break the tushes of the boar ? 
If none of these, dear mother, what 's your woe? 
Pray, do you fear Spain's bragging Armado ? 
Doth your ally, fair France, conspire your wreck. 
Or do the Scots play false behind your back ? 
Doth Holland quit you ill for all your love ? 
Whence is the storm, from earth or heaven above ? 
Is it drought, is it famine, or is it pestilence ? 
Dost feel the smart, or fear the consequence ? 
Your humble child entreats you show your grief. 
Though arms nor purse she hath for your relief, — 
' Such is her poverty, — yet shall be found 
A suppliant for your help, as she is bound. 


I must confess some of those sores you name 

My beauteous body at this present maim; 

But foreign foe nor feigned friend I fear. 

For they have work enough, thou knowest, elsewhere. 

Nor is it Alcie's son nor Henry's daughter 

Whose proud contentions cause this slaughter; 

Nor nobles siding to make John no king, 

French Louis unjustly to the crown to bring; 

No Edward, Richard, to lose rule and life. 

Nor no Lancastrians to renew old strife; 

A Dialogue between Old England and New 221 

No Duke of York nor Earl of March to soil 

Their hands in kindred's blood whom they did foil. 

No crafty tyrant now usurps the seat 

Who nephews slew that so he might be great. 

No need of Tudor roses to unite; 

None knows which is the red or which the white. 

Spain's braving fleet a second time is sunk. 

France knows how oft my fury she hath drunk 

By Edward Third and Henry Fifth of fame; 

Her lilies in my arms avouch the same. 

My sister Scotland hurts me now no more. 

Though she hath been injurious heretofore. 

What Holland is I am in some suspense. 

But Crust not much unto his excellence. 

For wants, sure some I feel, but more I fear; 

And for the pestilence, who knows how near? 

Famine and plague, two sisters of the sword, 

Destru6lion to a land doth soon afford. • 

They 're for my punishment ordained on high. 

Unless our tears prevent it speedily. 

But yet I answer not what you demand 

To show the grievance of my troubled land. 

Before I tell the effeft I '11 show the cause. 

Which is my sins — the breach of sacred laws: 

Idolatry, supplanter of a nation. 

With foolish superstitious adoration. 

Are liked and countenanced by men of might; 

The gospel trodden down and hath no right; 

222 The Writings of Mrs. Anne Bradstreet 

Church offices were sold and bought for gain. 
That Pope had hope to find Rome here again; 
For oaths and blasphemies did ever ear 
From Beelzebub himself such language hear ? 
What scorning of the saints of the most high ! 
What injuries did daily on them lie ! 
What false reports, what nicknames did they 

Not for their own, but for their Master's sake ! 
And thou, poor soul, wert jeered among the rest; 
Thy flying for the truth was made a jest. 
For Sabbath-breaking and for drunkenness 
Did ever land profaneness more express ? 
From crying blood yet cleansed am not I, 
Martyrs and others dying causelessly. 
How many princely heads on blocks laid down 
For naught but title to a fading crown! 
'Mongst all the cruelties by great ones done, 
O Edward's youths, and Clarence' hapless son, 
O Jane, why didst thou die in flowering prime? — 
Because of royal stem, that was thy crime. 
For bribery, adultery, and lies 
Where is the nation I can't paralyze ? 
* With usury, extortion, and oppression. 
These be the hydras of my stout transgression; 
These be the bitter fountains, heads, and roots 
Whence flowed the source, the sprigs, the boughs, and 


A Dialogue between Old England and New 223 

Of more than thou canst hear or I relate. 

That with high hand I still did perpetrate. 

For these were threatened the woeful day. 

I mocked the preachers, put it far away; 

The sermons yet upon record do stand 

That cried destru£iion to my wicked land. 

I then believed not, now I feel and see 

The plague of stubborn incredulity. 

Some lost their livings, some in prison pent. 

Some, fined, from house and friends to exile went. • 

Their silent tongues to heaven did vengeance cry. 

Who saw their wrongs, and hath judged righteously. 

And will repay it sevenfold in my lap. 

This is forerunner of my afterclap. 

Nor took I warning by my neighbors' falls; 

I saw sad Germany's dismantled walls, • 

I saw her people famished, nobles slain. 

Her fruitful land a barren heath remain; 

I saw, unmoved, her armies foiled and fled. 

Wives forced, babes tossed, her houses calcined. 

I saw strong Rochcllc yielded to her foe. 

Thousands of starved Christians there also. 

I saw poor Ireland bleeding out her last. 

Such cruelties as all reports have passed; 

Mine heart obdurate stood not yet aghast. 

Now sip I of that cup, and just it may be 

The bottom dregs reserved are for me. 

224 ^^^ WritiHgs rf Mrs. Jmu Brsdttmi 


To all you 've said, sad mother, I uieiit* 
*' Your fearful sins great cause there it to lunenii 
My guilty hands in part hold up with 70a, 
A sharer in your punishment 't my dne. 
But all you say amounts to this e ffe fli. 
Not what you feel, but what yoa do ezpeft. 
Pray, in plain terms, what is your present grief? 
Then let 's join heads and hearts for your relief. 


; Well, to the matter, then. There 't g;rown of htc 
'Twixt king and peers a questidn of ittte: 
Which is the chief-— the lawj. or^ebe the king? 
One said, it 's he; the other, no such thing. 
'T is said my better part in Parliament 
To ease my groaning land showed their intent^ 
To crush the proud, and right to each mm deal. 
To help the church, and stay the commonweaL 
So many obstacles came in their way 
As puts me to a stand what I should lay. 
Old customs new prerogatives stood on; 
Had they not held law fast, all had been gone. 
Which by their prudence stood them in such itead 
They took high Strafford lower by the head. 
And to their Laud be it spoke they held in the tower 
All England's metropolitan that hour. 

■vernor of ihe Massachusetts Bay Colony. 
;inil piintlng in tht Slate HouK, Boilon, Mui. 

A Dialogue between Old England and New 225 

This done, an ad they would have passed &in 

No prelate should his bishopric retain; 

Here tugged they hard indeed, for all men saw 

This must be done by gospel, not by law. 

Next the militift they urged sore; 

This was denied, I need not say wherefore. 

The king, displeased, at York himself absents. 

They humbly beg his return, show their intents; 

The writing, printing, posting to and fro> 

Show all was done; I Ml therefore let it go. . 

But now I come to speak of my disaster. 

Contention grown 'twizt subjedb and their master. 

They worded it so long they fell to blows. 

That thousands lay on heaps. Here bleed my woes. 

I that no wars so many years have known 

Am now destroyed and slaughtered by my own. 

But could the field alone this strife decide. 

One battle, two, or three I might abide. 

But these may be beginnings of more woe — 

Who knows but this may be my overthrow! 

Oh, pity me in this sad perturbation. 

My plundered towns, my houses' devastation. 

My weeping virgins, and my young men slain. 

My wealthy trading fallen, my dearth of grain. 

The seed-times come, but plowman hath no hope 

Because he knows not who shall in his crop. 

The poor they want their pay, their children bread. 

Their woeful mothers' tears unpitied. 


2 26 The Writings of Mrs. Anne Braistreet 

If any pity in thy heart remain. 
Or any child-like love thou dost retain. 
For my relief do what there lies in thee. 
And recompense that good I 've done to thee. 


Dear mother, cease complaints, and wipe your eyes. 

Shake off* your dust, cheer up, and now arise. 

You are my mother nurse, and I, your flesh. 

Your sunken bowels gladly would refresh. 

Your griefs I pity, but soon hope to see 

Out of your troubles much good fruit to be; 

To see those latter days of hoped-for good. 

Though now beclouded all with tears and blood. 

After dark popery the day did clear; 

But now the sun in his brightness shall appear. 

Blest be the nobles of thy noble land 

With ventured lives for truth's defense that stand. 

Blest be thy Commons, who for common good 

And thy infringed laws have boldly stood. 

Blest be thy counties, who did aid thee still 

With hearts and states to testify their will. 

Blest be thy preachers, who do cheer thee on; 

Oh, cry the sword of God and Gideon ! 

And shall I not on them wish Meroz' curse 

That help thee not with prayers, with alms, and purse? 

And for myself let miseries abound 

If mindless of thy state I e'er be found. 

A DUitgut httwttn Old Enghnd and New 217 


These we the days the church's foes (o crush. 
To root out popcling's head, tail, branch, and rush. 
Let 'i bring Baal's vcstmcnta forth to make a lire. 
Their miters, surplices, and all their attire. 
Copes, rochets, croziers, and such empty trash, 
I And let their names consume, but let the flash 
I Light Christendom, and all the world to see 
I We hate Rome's whore, with all her trumpery. 
Go on, brave Essex, with a loyal heart. 
Not false to king, nor to the better part; 
But those that hurt his people and his crown. 
As duty binds expel and tread them down. 
And ye brave nobles, chase away all fear. 
And to this hopeful cause closely adhere. 

O mother, 1 
When they a 

The briny o< 
These, these 

I gone, then 

nd have such peers? 
Irown yourself in tears, 
p so much, that then no more 
1 will o'erflow your shore. 
: they, I trust, with Charles our king. 
Out of all mists such glorious days shall bring 
That dazzled eyes, beholding, much shall wonder 
At thai thy settled peace, thy wealth, and splendor; 
Thy church and weal established in such manner 
That all shall joy that thou displayedst thy banner; 
And discipline erected so, I trust. 
Thai nursing kings shall come and lick thy dust. 
justice shall in all thy courts take place 
pctt of person or of case; 

Without r 

228 Tbi Writmgs rf Mrs. Anne Brmd$irni . . 

Then bribes shall cease, and suits shall not addc kia^' 
Patience and purse of clients oft to wrong; 
Then high commissions shall fiiU to deca7, 

• And pursuivants and catchpoles want their pay. 
So shall thy happy nation ever flourish. 

When truth and righteousness they thua thall nomjak 

When thus in peace, thine armies brave aend out 

To sack proud Rome, and all her vaanla roat; 

There let thy name, thy fame, and gloiy shine. 

As did thine ancestors' in Palestine, 

And let her spoils full pay with interest be 

Of what unjustly once she polled from thee. 

Of all the woes thou canst let her be tped^ 

And on her pour the vengeance threatened. 

Bring forth the beast that ruled the world with his bcdk^ 

And tear his flesh, and set your feet on his neck. 

And make his filthy den so desolate 

To the astonishment of all that knew hb state. 

This done, with brandished swords to Turkey go.— 

For then what is it but English blades dare do? — 

And lay her waste, — for so 's the sacred doom^— 

And do to Gog as thou hast done to Rome. 

O Abraham's seed, lift up your heads on high« 

For sure the day of your redemption 's nigh. 

• The scales shall fall from your long blinded eyes^ 
And him you shall adore who now despise. 
Then fulness of the nations in shall flow. 

And Jew and Gentile to one worship go; 


■* The Aposde of ihe India 

rigJnjl painling owned by Mri. W 
Roibury, Mau 

A Dialogue between Old England and New zzg 

Then follow days of happiness and rest. 
Whose lot doth fall to live therein is blest. 
No Canaanite shall then be found in the land. 
And holiness on horses' bells shall stand. 
If this make way thereto, then sigh no more. 
But if at all thou didst not see it before. 
Farewell, dear mother; rightest cause prevail. 
And in a while you Ml tell another tale. • 


I $86. 

When England did enjoy her halcyon days 

Her noble Sidney wore the crown of bays. 

As well an honor to our British knd 

Ab she thii swayed (he scepier widi her bind. 

Mars and Minerva did in one agree 

Of arms and arta he thould a pattern be; 

Calliope with Terpsichore did sing 

Of poesy and of music he wu king. 

His rhetoric Jtruck Polyhymnia dead, 

His eloquence made Mercury wax red. 

His logic from Euterpe won the crown. 

More worth was his than Clio could let down. 

Thalia and Melpomene, say the truth, — 

Witness "Arcadia" penned in hii youth, — 

Are not his tragic comedies to aAed 

As if your ninefold wit had been compacted 


An Elegy upon Sir Philip Sidney 231 

To show the world they never saw before. 
That this one volume should exhaust your store? 
His wiser days condemned his witty works. 
Who knows the spell that in his rhetoric lurks ? 
But some infatuate fools, soon caught therein. 
Found Cupid's dam had never such a gin. 
Which makes severer eyes but slight that story. 
And men of morose minds envy his glory. 
But he 's a beetlehead that can't descry 
A world of wealth within that rubbish lie, 
I And doth his name, his work, his honor wrong. 
The brave refiner of our British tongue. 
That sees not learning, valor, and morality. 
Justice, friendship, and kind hospitality. 
Yea, and divinity, within his book. 
Such were prejudicate, and did not look. 
In all records his name I ever see 
Put with an epithet of dignity. 
Which shows his worth was great, his honor such 
The love his country ought him was as much. 
Then let none disallow of these my strains 
Whilst English blood yet runs within my veins. 
O brave Achilles, I wish some Homer would 
Engrave in marble, with characters of gold. 
The valiant feats thou didst on Flanders* coast. 
Which at this day fair Belgia may boast. 
The more I say, the more thy worth I stain. 
Thy fame and praise are far beyond my strain. 

232 The Writings of Mrs. Anm BrMistrat 

O Ztitphen, ZQtphen, that most fiital city 
Made famous by thy death, much more the pity! 
Ah! in his blooming prime death plucked this rose 
Ere he was ripe, his thread cut Atropos. 
Thus man is bom to die, and dead is he. 
Brave Heftor by the walls of Troy we sec. 
Oh, who was near thee but did sore repine 
He rescued not with life that life of thine ? 
But yet impartial fates this boon did give — 
Though Sidney died, his valiant name should Uve. 
And live it doth, in spite of death through fame. 
Thus being overcome, he overcame. 
Where is that envious tongue but can afibrd 
Of this our noble Scipio some good word ? 
Great Bartas, this unto thy praise adds more. 
In sad sweet verse thou didst his death deplore. 
And phenix Spenser doth unto his life 
His death present in sable to his wife, 
j Stella the fair, whose streams from con,^]}its fell 
For the sad loss of her dear Astrophel. 
Fain would I show how he fame's paths did tread. 
But now into such labyrinths I am led. 
With endless turns, the way I find not out. 
How to persist, my muse is more in doubt. 
Which makes me now with Sylvester confess 
But Sidney's muse can sing his worthiness. 
The Muses' aid I craved; they had no will 
To give to their detradtor any quill. 

An Eligy upon Sir Philip Sidney 233 

With high disdain they said they gave no more 
Since Sidney had exhausted all their store. 
They took from me the scribbling pen I had; 
I to be eased of such a task was glad; 
Then to revenge this wrong themselves engage. 
And drave me from Parnassus in a rage. 
Then wonder not if I no better sped. 
Since I the Muses thus have injured. 
I, pensive for my fault, sat down, and then 
Errata, through their leave, threw me my pen; 
My poem to conclude two lines they deign. 
Which writ, she bade return it to them again. 
So Sidney's fame I leave to England's rolls. 
His bones do lie interred in stately Paul's. 

His Epitaph, 

Here lies in fame under this stone 

Philip and Alexander both in one. 

Heir to the Muses, the son of Mars in truth. 

Learning, valor, wisdom, all in virtuous youth. 

His praise is much ; this shall suffice my pen 

That Sidney died *mong most renotoned of men. 


Among ihe happy wits this age hath thown. 

Great, dear, sweet Battai, [hou art nutchleti known. 

My ravished eycg and heart, with filtering tongue. 

In humble wise have vowed their lervice long. 

But knowing the task so great, and strength but inial]. 

Gave o'er the work before begun withal. 

My dazzled sight of late reviewed thy lines. 

Where an, and more than art, in nature shines, 

RefleAion from their beaming altitude 

Did thaw my frozen heart's ingratitude. 

Which rays, darting upon some richer groond. 

Had caused fiowere and fruits soon to abound; 

But barren 1 my daisy here do bring, 

A homely flower in this my latter spring. 

If summer or my autumn age do yield 

Flowers, fruits, in garden, orchard, or in field. 

They shall be consecrated in my verse 

And prostrate offered at great Bartaa' hearse. 

My muse unto a child I may compare 

Who sees the riches of some famous fair; 


In Honor of Du Bartas 235 

He feeds his eyes, but understanding lacks 

To comprehend the worth of all those knacks. 

The glittering plate and jewels he admires. 

The hats and fans, the plumes and ladies' attires. 

And thousand times his amazed mind doth wish 

Some part, at least, of that brave wealth were his; 

But seeing empty wishes naught obtain. 

At night turns to his mother's cot again. 

And tells her tales, his full heart over-glad. 

Of all the glorious sights his eyes have had. 

But finds too soon his want of eloquence. 

The silly prattler speaks no word of sense. 

But seeing utterance fail his great desires. 

Sits down in silence, deeply he admires. 

Thus weak-brained 1, reading thy lofty style. 

Thy profound learning, viewing other while 

Thy art in natural philosophy. 

Thy saint-like mind in grave divinity. 

Thy piercing skill in high astronomy. 

And curious insight in anatomy. 

Thy physic, music, and state policy. 

Valor in war, in peace good husbandry. 

Sure liberal nature did with art not small 

In all the arts make thee most liberal. 

A thousand thousand times my senseless senses 

Moveless stand, charmed by thy sweet influences. 

More senseless than the stones to Amphion's lute; 

Mine eyes are sightless, and my tongue is mute. 

236 The Writings of Mrs. Anne Bradstreet 

My full astonished heart doth pant to break. 

Through grief it wants a faculty to speak. 

Volleys of praises could I echo then 

Had I an angel's voice or Bartas' pen. 

But wishes can't accomplish my desire. 

Pardon if I adore when I admire. 

O France, thou didst in him more glory gain 

Than in thy Martel, P^pin, Charlemagne, 

Than in St. Louis, or thy last Henry great. 

Who tamed his foes in wars, in blood, and sweat. 

Thy fame is spread as far, I dare be bold. 

In all the zones, the temperate, hot, and cold. 

Their trophies were but heaps of wounded slain; 

Thine the quintessence of an heroic brain. 

The oaken garland ought to deck their brows; 

Immortal bays to thee all men allow. 

Who in thy triumphs never won by wrongs, 

Lead'st millions chained by ^ytt^ by ears, by tongues. 

Oft have I wondered at the hand of heaven 

In giving one what would have served seven. 

If e'er this golden gift were showered on any. 

Thy double portion would have served many. 

Unto each man his riches are assigned 

Of name, of state, of body, and of mind; 

Thou hadst thy part of all but of the last. 

O pregnant brain, O comprehension vast. 

Thy haughty style and rapted wit sublime 

All ages, wondering at, shall never climb. 

/* Hmar »f Dm Bt^Ui 

Thy ucrcd worlt* arc not for imitation. 

But monuineati to (iiture admiration. \ 

Thus Bartas' fame shall laat while Kara do *t>nd. 

And whilst there '» air, or fire, or tea, or land. 

But lesi mine ignorance should do thee wrong. 

To celebrate thy merits in my song, 

i 'II leave thy praise to those shall do thee right. 

Good-will, not skill, did cause me bring my mite. 

Hii Epitaph. 
Here liei the Pearl of Frame, Parnaiiui' glarj; 
The vrnrld rtjeiced at hit birth, at hii diatb taai 
Art and Nature joiatd ty beaven'i high decree 
hote ibovied what once ihej ought, humanity; 
And Nature' s law had it been revafatle 
To ratue him from death Art had been able. 
Bui Nature vanquished Art, la Barlai died; 
Bui fame outliving both, he ii revived. 



Although, great queen, thou now in silence lie. 

Yet thy loud herald, fame, doth to the sky 

Thy wondrous worth proclaim in every clime. 

And so hath vowed while there is world or time. 

So great is thy glory and thine excellence 

The sound thereof rapts every human sense. 

That men account it no impiety 

To say thou wert a fleshly deity. 

Thousands bring offerings, though out of date. 

Thy world of honors to accumulate; 

*Mongst hundred hecatombs of roaring verse. 

Mine bleating stands before thy royal hearse. 

Thou never didst nor canst thou now disdain 

To accept the tribute of a loyal brain; 

Thy clemency did erst esteem as much 

The acclamations of the poor as rich. 

Which makes me deem my rudeness is no wrong. 

Though I resound thy praises 'mongst the throng. 



In Honor of ^een EUzabetb 239 


No phcniz pen, nor Spenser's poetry. 
Nor Speed's nor Camden's learned history, 
Eliza's works, wars, praise, can e'er compadt. 
The world 's the theater where she did wEt. 
No memories nor volumes can contain 
The eleven olympiads of her happy reign. 
Who was so good, so just, so learned, wise. 
From all the kings on earth she won the prize. 
Nor say I more than duly is her due; 
Millions will testify that this is true. 
She hath wiped off* the aspersion of her sex 
That women wisdom lack to play the rex. 
Spain's monarch says not so, nor yet his host; 
She taught them better manners to their cost. 
The salic law in force now had not been 
If France had ever hoped for such a queen. 
But can you, do6lors, now this point dispute. 
She 's argument enough to make you mute. 
Since first the sun did run his near-run race. 
And earth had, once a year, a new-old face. 
Since tftne was time, and man unmanly man. 
Come show me such a phenix if you can ? 
Was ever people better ruled than hers ? 
Was ever land more happy, freed from stirs? 
Did ever wealth in England more abound ? 
Her vidories in foreign coasts resound. 

240 The Writings of Mrs, Anne Brsdstnet 

Ships more invincible than Sptin's, her foe 

She wrecked, she sacked, she sunk his Armado; 

Her stately troops advanced to Lisbon's wall 

Don Anthony in his right there to install; 

She frankly helped Franks* brave distressed king; 

The states united now her fame do sing. 

She their protectrix was — they well do know 

Unto our dread virago what they owe. 

Her nobles sacrificed their noble blood. 

Nor men nor coin she spared to do them good. 

The rude untamed Irish she did quell; 

Before her picture the proud Tyrone fell. 

Had ever prince such counsellors as she ? 

Herself, Minerva, caused them so to be. 

Such captains and such soldiers never seen 

As were the subjects of our Pallas queen. 

Her seamen through all straits the world did round 

Terra incognita might know the sound. 

Her Drake came laden home with Spanish gold; 

Her Essex took Cadiz, their herculean hold. 

But time would fail me, so my tongue would, too. 

To tell of half she did or she could do. 

Semiramis to her is but obscure — 

More infamy than fame she did procure; 

She built her glory but on Babel's walls. 

World's wonder for awhile, but yet it falls. 

Fierce Tomyris (Cyrus* headsman), Scythians* queen. 

Had put her harness off had the but teen 

In Hon9r of Siuetn Etizaheth 241 

Our amazon in the ctmp of Tilbury, 
Judging all valor and all majesty 
Within that princess to have residence. 
And prostrate yielded to her excellence. 
Dido, first foundress of proud Carthage* wills, — 
Who living consummates her funerals? — 
A great Elisa; but compared with ours 
How vanisheth her glory, wealth, and powers ! 
Profuse, proud Cleopatra, whose wrong name. 
Instead of glory, proved her country's shame. 
Of her what worth in stories to be seen 
But that she was a rich Egyptian queen ? 
Zenobia, potent empress of the East, 
And of all these without compare the best. 
Whom none but great Aurclian could quell. 
Yet for our queen is no fit parallel. 
She was a phenix queen; so shall she be. 
Her ashes not revived, more phenix she. 
Her personal perfeftions who would tell 
Must dip his pen in the Heliconian well. 
Which I may not; my pride doth but aspire 
To read what others write, and so admire. 
Now say, have women worth, or have they none ? 
Or had they some, but with our queen is it gone ? 
Nay, masculines, you have thus taxed us long. 
But she, though dead, will vindicate our wrong. 
Let such as say our sex is void of reason 
Know 't is a slander now, but once was treason. 

242 Tbi IFritings of Mrs. Anne Brsdstrttt 

But happy England, which had such a queen! 

Yea, happy, happy, had those days still been! 

But happiness lies in a higher sphere; 

Then wonder not Eliza moves not here. 

Full fraught with honor, riches, and with days. 

She set, she set, like Titan in his rays. 

No more shall rise or set so glorious sun 

Until the heavens' great revolutidn. 

If then new things their old forms shall retain, 

Eliza shall rule Albion once again. 

Her Epitaph. 

Here sleeps the queen; this is the royal bed 

Of the damask rose sprung from the white and red. 

Whose sweet perfume fills the all-filling air. 

This rose is wit her ed^ once so lovely fair. 

On neither tree did grow such rose before; — 

The greater was our gain, our loss the more. 


Here lies the pride of queens, pattern of kings. 
So blaze it. Fame; here are feathers for thy wings. 
Here lies the envied yet unparalleled prince, 
Whose living virtues speak, though dead kng sinci. 
If many worlds, as that fantastic framed. 
In every one be her great glory famed. 



// Samuel i, 79. 

Alts, slain is the head of Israel 
Illustrious Saul, whose beauty did excel! 
Upon thy places mountainous and high 
How did the mighty fall, and, falling, die! 
In Gath let not these things be spoken on. 
Nor published in the streets of Askelon, 
Lest daughters of the Philistines rejoice. 
Lest the uncircumcised lift up their voice. 
O Gil boa mounts, let never pearled dew 
Nor fruitful showers your barren tops bestrew. 
Nor fields of offerings ever on you grow. 
Nor any pleasant thing e'er may you show; 
For there the mighty ones did soon decay. 
The shield of Saul was vilely cast away; 
There had his dignity so sore a foil 
As if his head ne'er felt the sacred oil. 
Sometimes from crimson blood of ghastly slain 
The bow of Jonathan ne'er turned in vain; 


244 ^^^ Writings tf Mrs. Anne BrAdstrut 

Nor from the fat and spoils of mighty men 
With bloodless sword did Saul turn tmck again. 
Pleasant and lovely were they both in life. 
And in their death was found no parting strife. 
Swifter than swiftest eagles so were they. 
Stronger than lions ramping for their prey. 
O Israel's dames, overflow your beauteous eyes 
For valiant Saul, who on Mount Gilboa lies. 
Who clothed you in doth of richest dye. 
And choice delights full of variety. 
On your array put ornaments of gold. 
Which made you yet more beauteous to behold. 
Oh, how in battle did the mighty fall 
In midst of strength, not succored at all! 
O lovely Jonathan, how wast thou slain! 
In places high full low thou didst remain. 
Distressed for thee I am, dear Jonathan; 
Thy love was wonderful, surpassing man. 
Exceeding all the love that 's feminine. 
So pleasant hast thou been, dear brother mine. 
How are the mighty fallen into decay. 
And warlike weapons perished away! 

31, 1653, AND OF HIS AGE 77. 

. By iJuiy boond, ind not by ciucom led 
To celebrate ihe praises of the dead. 
My maumtul mind, sore preued, in irembliog vene 
Presetiti my lamentationt at his hearte 
Who was my father, guide, instructor, too. 
To whom I ought whatever I couIJ da. 
Nor is it relation near my band shall tie; 
For who more cause to boast his worth than I } 
Who heard, or saw, observed, or knew him better. 
Or who alive than 1 a greater debtor ? 
Let malice bite, and envy gnaw its lill. 
He was my father, and I 'II praise him still. 
Nor was his name or life led so obscure 
That pity might some trumpeters procure. 
Who ifier death might make him falsely leem 
Such a) in life no man could justly deem. 
Well known and loved, where'er he lived, by moat. 
Both in his native and in foreign coast. 
These 10 the world his meriu could make known. 
So need no testimonial from his own, 

|6a a*) 



246 The Writings of Mrs. Anne Brdistrtet 

But now or never I must pay my sum; 

While others tell his worth, I '11 not be dumb. 

^ One of thy founders him. New England, know. 
Who stayed thy feeble sides when thou wast low. 
Who spent his state, his strength, and years with care 

JThat aftercomers in them might have share. 
True patriot of this little commonweal. 
Who is it can tax thee aught but for thy zeal ? 
Truth's friend thou wert, to errors still a foe. 
Which caused apostates to malign thee so. 
Thy love to true religion e'er shall shine — 
My father's God be God of me and mine! 
Upon the earth he did not build his nest. 
But as a pilgrim what he had possessed. 
High thoughts he gave no harbor in his heart. 
Nor honors puffed him up, when he had part; 
Those titles loathed which some too much do love. 
For truly his ambition lay above. 
Ilis humble mind so loved humility 
He left it to his race for legacy. 
And oft and oft, with speeches mild and wise. 
Gave his in charge that jewel rich to prize. 
No ostentation seen in all his ways. 
As in the mean ones of our foolish days. 
Which all they have, and more, still set to view 
Their greatness may be judged by what they show. 
His thoughts were more sublime, his actions wise; 
Such vanities he justly did despise. 

To the Memory of My Father 247 

Nor wonder 't was low things ne'er much did move. 

For he a mansion had prepared above. 

For which he sighed and prayed and longed fiill sore 

He might be clothed upon for evermore; 

Oft spake of death, and with a smiling cheer 

He did exult his end was drawing near. 

Now fully ripe, as shock of wheat that 's grown. 

Death as a sickle hath him timely mown. 

And in celestial bam hath housed him high. 

Where storms, nor showers, nor aught can damnify. 

His generation served, his labors cease. 

And to his fathers gathered is in peace. 

Ah happy soul, 'mongst saints and angels blest. 

Who after all his toil is now at rest! 

His hoary head in righteousness was found; 

As joy in heaven, on earth let praise resound. 

Forgotten never be his memory! 

His blessing rest on his posterity! 

His pious footsteps followed by bis race 

At last will bring us to that happy place 

Where we with joy each other's face shall see. 

And parted more by death shall never be. 

His Epitaph, 

IVitbin this tomb a patriot lies 
That was both pious, just, and wise. 
To truth a shield, to right a wall. 
To se^aries a whip and maul. 


248 The Writings of Mrs. Anne Bradstreet 

A magazine of history ^ 

A prizer of good company ^ 

In manners pleasant and severe^ 

The good him loved, the bad did fear i 

And when his time with years was spent ^ 

If some rejoiced, more did lament. 

27, 1643, AND OF HER AGE 61. 

Here lies 
A worthy matron of unspotted life, 
A loving mother, and obedient wife, 
A friendly neighbor, pitiful to poor. 
Whom oft she fed and clothid with her store; 
To servants wisely aweful, but yet kind. 
And as they did so they reward did find; 
A true instructor of her family. 
The which she ordered with dexterity; 
The public meetings ever did frequent. 
And in her closet constant hours she spent; 
Religious in all her words and ways. 
Preparing still fir death till end of days; 
Of all her children children lived to see. 
Then, dying, left a blessed memory. 


Some time now put in the annunnd dde. 
When Ph(zbu5 wuited but one hour to bed. 

The trees all richly dad, yet void of pride. 
Were gilded o'er by hit rich golden head; 

Their leaves and fruits seemed painted, but were true 

Of green, of red, of yellow, mixed hue. 

Rapi were my sensei at this delegable view. 

I wist not what to wtih, yet lure, thought I, 

if so much excellence abide below 
How excellent is He chat dvrells on high. 

Whose power and beauty by his works we know! 
Sure He is goodness, wisdom, glory, light. 
That hath this under world so richly dight. 
More heaven than earth was here, no winter and no night. 

Then on a stately oak I cait mine eye. 

Whose ruffling top the clouds seemed to upire. 

How long since thou wast in thine infancy i 

Thy strength and stature more thy years admire. 


250 The Writings of Mrs, Anne Bradstreet 

Hath hundred winters passed since thou wast bom. 
Or thousand since thou break' st thy shell of horn? 
If so, all these as naught eternity doth scorn. 

Then higher on the glistering sun I gazed. 
Whose beams were shaded by the leafy tree; 

The more I looked the more I grew amazed. 
And softly said. What glory *s like to thee ? 

Soul of this world, this universe's eye. 

No wonder some made thee a deity. 

Had I not better known, alas, the same had I. 

Thou as a bridegroom from thy chamber rushes, \§f^ ^^^^ 

And as a strong man joys to run a race; 
The morn doth usher thee with smiles and blushes. 

The earth reflc6ls her glances in thy face. 
Birds, insedls, animals, with vegetive. 
Thy heart from death and dulness doth revive, <^ 
And in the darksome womb of fruitful nature divc.^ 

Thy swift annual and diurnal course. 

Thy daily straight and yearly oblique path. 
Thy pleasing fervor, and thy scorching force 

All mortals here the feeling knowledge hath. 
Thy presence makes it day, thy absence night. 
Quaternal seasons caused by thy might. 
Hail, creature full of sweetness, beauty, and delight! 

Contemplations 251 

Art thou so full of glory that no eye 

Hath strength thy shining rays once to behold ? 
And is thy splendid throne ere£l so high 

As to approach it can no earthly mould ? 
How full of glory then must thy Creator be 
Who gave this bright light luster unto thee ? 
Admired, adored, forever be that Majesty. 

Silent, alone, where none or saw or heard. 
In pathless paths I led my wandering feet; 

My humble eyes to lofty skies I reared. 

To sing some song my amazed muse thought meet. 

My great Creator I would magnify 

That nature had thus decked liberally. 

But ah, and ah again, my imbecility! 

I heard the merry grasshopper then sing. 

The black-clad cricket bear a second part; 
They kept one tune and played on the same string. 

Seeming to glory in their little art. 
Shall creatures abje6l thus their voices raise. 
And in their kind resound their maker's praise, 
Whilst I as mute can warble forth no higher lays? 

252 The Writings of Mrs. Anne Bradstreet 

When present times look back to ages past. 
And men in being fancy those are dead. 
It makes things gone perpetually to last. 

And calls back months and years that long since fled; 
It makes a man more aged in conceit 
Than was Methuselah or his grandsire great 
While of their persons and their a6b his mind doth treat. 

Sometimes in Eden fair he seems to be. 

Sees glorious Adam there made lord of all. 
Fancies the apple dangle on the tree 

That turned his sovereign to a naked thrall. 
Who like a miscreant was driven from that place 
To get his bread with pain and sweat of face — 
A penalty imposed on his backsliding race. 

Here sits our grandam in retired place. 

And in her lap her bloody Cain new bom; 
The weeping imp oft looks her in the face. 

Bewails his unknown hap and fate forlorn. 
His mother sighs to think of paradise. 
And how she lost her bliss to be more wise. 
Believing him that was and is father of lies. 

Here Cain and Abel come to sacrifice; 

Fruits of the earth and fatlings each doth bring. 
On Abel's gift the fire descends from skies. 

But no such sign on false Cain's offering. 

Contemplations 253 

With sullen hateful looks he goes his ways. 
Hath thousand thoughts to end his brother's days. 
Upon whose blood his future good he hopes to raiae. 

There Abel keeps his sheep, no ill he thinks; 

His brother comes, then ads his fratricide; 
The virgin earth of blood her first draught drinks. 

But since that time she often hath been cloyed. 
The wretch with ghastly face and dreadful mind 
Thinks each he sees will serve him in his kind. 
Though none on earth but kindred near then could 
he find. 

Who fancies not his looks now at the bar. 

His face like death, his heart with horror fraught. 

Nor malefactor ever felt like war 

When deep despair with wish of life hath sought. 

Branded with guilt, and crushed with treble woes, 

A vagabond to land of Nod he goes, 

A city builds, that walls might him secure from foes. 

Who thinks not oft upon the fathers' ages. 

Their long descent, how nephews' sons they saw. 

The starry observations of those sages, 

And how their precepts to their sons were law; 

How Adam sighed to see his progeny 

Clothed all in his black sinful livery. 

Who neither guilt nor yet the punishment could fly ? 

254 '^^^ Writings of Mrs. Ann$ Bradstrat 

Our life compare we with their length of day t. 
Who to the tenth of theirs doth now arrive ? 

And though thus short, we shorten many ways. 
Living so little while we are alive — 

In eating, drinking, sleeping, vain delight; 

So unawares comes on perpetual night, V )t-^ 

And puts all pleasures vain unto eternal flig^ ' 

When I behold the heavens as in their prime. 

And then the earth, though old, still clad in green. 

The stones and trees insensible of time. 

Nor age nor wrinkle on their front are seen; 

If winter come, and greenness then doth fade, 

A spring returns, and they *re more youthful made. 

But man grows old, lies down, remains where once 
he 's laid. 

By birth more noble than those creatures all. 
Yet seems by nature and by custom cursed — 

No sooner bom but grief and care make fall 
That state obliterate he had at first; 

Nor youth, nor strength, nor wisdom spring again. 

Nor habitations long their names retain. 

But in oblivion to the final day remain. 

Shall I then praise the heavens, the trees, the earth. 
Because their beauty and their strength last longer ? 

Contemplations 255 

Shall I wish there or never to had birth. 

Because they 're bigger and their bodies stronger ? 
Nay, they shall darken, perish, fade, and die. 
And when unmade so ever shall they lie; 
But man was made for endless immortality. 

Under the cooling shadow of a stately elm — ^4^ 

Close sat I by a goodly river's side 
Where gliding streams the rocks did overwhelm; 

A lonely place, with pleasures dignified. 
1 once that loved the shady woods so well 
Now thought the rivers did the trees excel. 
And if the sun would ever shine there would I dwell. 

While on the stealing stream I fixed mine eye 
Which to the longed-for ocean held its course, 

I marked nor crooks nor rubs that there did lie 
Could hinder aught, but still augment its force. 

O happy flood, quoth I, that holds thy race 

Till thou arrive at thy beloved place. 

Nor is it rocks or shoals that can obstruct thy pace. 

Nor is it enough that thou alone mayst slide. 
But hundred brooks in thy clear waves do meet; 

So hand in hand along with thee they glide 

To Thetis* house, where all embrace and greet. 

256 Tbt Writings $f Mrs. Anm BrMdstrat 

I Thou en^lem true of what I count the beit» 
Oh» could I lead my^ rivulets to rest! 
So may we press to that vast mansion ever blest! 

Ye fish which in this liquid region abide* 
That for each season have your habitation* 

Now salty now fresh, where you think best to glide. 
To unknown coasts to give a visitation. 

In lakes and ponds you leave your numerous fiy; 

So nature taught, and yet you know not why* 

You watery folk that know not your felicity. 

Look how the wantons frisk to taste the air* 
Then to the colder bottom straight they dive; 

Eftsoon to Neptune's glassy hall repair 

To see what trade the great ones there do drive; 

Who forage o'er the spacious sea-green field* 

And take the trembling prey before it yield; 

Whose armor is their scales, their spreading fins their 

While musing thus with contemplation fed. 

And thousand fancies buzzing in my brain* 
The sweet-tongued philomel perched o'er my head* 

And chanted forth a most melodious strain* 
Which rapt me so with wonder and delight 
I judged my hearing better than my sight* 
And wished me wings with her a while to take my flight. 



O merry bird, uid I, thai fcu-a no «ium, 

Thtc neither loili nar hoards up in ihy htan, 
Fecli no sid thoughis, nor cruciating cires 

To gain more good or shun what might thee harm. 
Thy clothe* ne'er wear, thy meat is cvcrywhcrt. 
Thy bed a bough, thy drink the water clear. 
Reminds not what is past, nor what 's lo coine doM fcM-! 

The dawning morn with songs thou dosi prevent, 
Setiest hundred notes unto thy Ccaihered crew; 

So each one tunes his pretty instrument. 
And, warbling out the old, begins anew. 

And thus they pass their youth in summer season. 

Then follow thee into a better region 

Where winter 'i never felt by that sweet airy legion. 

Man, at the best a creature frail and vain. 

In knowledge ignorant, in s^trength bat weak, 
Subjcfl to sorrows, losses, sickness, pain, - 

Each storm his state, his mind, his body, break. 
From some of these he never finds cessation. 
But day or night, within, without, vexation. 
Troubles from foes, from friends, from dearest, neai 
est relation. 

And yet this sinful creature, frail and vain. 

This lump of wretchedness, of sin and sorrow. 

This wcather-bcaicn vessel racked with pain, 
Joys not in hope of an eternal n 


258 The Writings of Mrs. Anne Br ads tr at 

Nor all his losses, crosses, and vezatioiiy 

In weight, in frequency, and long duration. 

Can make him deeply groan for that divine translation. 

The mariner that on smooth waves doth glide 
Sings merrily, and steers his bark with ease. 
As if he had command of wind and tide. 

And now become great master of the seas; 
But suddenly a storm spoils all the sport. 
And makes him long for a more quiet port. 
Which 'gainst all adverse winds may serve for fort. 

So he that faileth in this world of pleasure. 
Feeding on sweets, that never bit of the sour. 

That 's full of friends, of honor, and of treasure. 
Fond fool, he takes this earth e'en for heaven's bower. 

But sad affliction comes, and makes him see 

Here 's neither honor, wealth, nor safety; 

Only above is found all with security. 

O time, the fatal wreck of mortal things. 

That draws oblivion's curtains over kings! 

Their sumptuous monuments men know them not. 

Their names without a record are forgot. 

Their parts, their ports, their pomps, all laid in the dust. 

Nor wit, nor gold, nor buildings 'scape time's rust. 

But he whose name is graved in the white stone 

Shall last and shine when all of these are gone. 

In secret plate where oner 1 stood. 
Close by ihe banks of lacryni flood, 
I hctrd (WO sisicTt rcaaon on 
Things ihit arc p*st and things to come. 
One Flesh was railed, who had her eye 
On worldly wealth and vanity; 
The other Spirit, who did rear 
Her thoughts unto a higher iphere. 
"Sister," quoth Flesh, "what livcst thou o 
Nothing but meditation ! 
Doth contemplation feed thee, so 
Regardlessly to lei earth go ! 
Can speculation satisfy 
Notion without reality I 
Dost dream of things beyond the moon. 
And dost thou hope to dwell there soon? 
Hast treasures there laid up in store 
That all in the world thou countcit poorf 
Art fancy sick, or turned a joi, 
To catch at shadows which are not } 
Come, come, I '11 show unto thy sense 
Industry hath its recompense. 
What canst desire but thou mayst see 
True substance in variety ? 


26o The Writings of Mrs. Anne Bradstrat 

Dost honor like ? Acquire the same. 
As some to their immortal fame. 
And trophies to thy name erect 
Which wearing time shall ne'er deje£l. 
For riches dost thou long full sore ? 
Behold enough of precious store; 
Earth hath more silver, pearls, and gold 
Than eyes can see or hands can hold. 
Affe£lest thou pleasure? Take thy fill; 
Earth hath enough of what you will. 
Then let not go what thou mayst find 
For things unknown, only in mind." 
Spirit, ''Be still, thou unregenerate part; 
Disturb no more my settled heart. 
For I have vowed, and so will do. 
Thee as a foe still to pursue. 
And combat with thee will and must 
Until I see thee laid in the dust. 
Sisters we are, yea, twins we be. 
Yet deadly feud *twixt thee and me; 
For from one father are we not. 
Thou by old Adam wast begot. 
But my arise is from above. 
Whence my dear Father I do love. 
Thou speakest me fair, but hatest me sore; 
Thy flattering shows I Ml trust no more. 
How oft thy slave hast thou me made 
When I believed what thou hast said. 

Tbt Flesh and the Spirit 

Than when 1 did what ihou bad'st do. 

I 'II Jiop mine ears at thcac thy charms, 

And count them for my deadly harmi. 

Thy sinful pleasures I do h«te. 

Thy riches are to me no biji. 

Thine honors do nor will I love. 

For my ambition liea above. 

My greaicsi honor it shall be 

When 1 am viAor over thee. 

And triumph shall, with laurel bead. 

When thou my captive shalt be led. 

How I do live thou needat not scofF, 

For I have meat thau knoweii not of: 

The hidden manna I do cat. 

The word of life it is my meat. 

My thoughts do yield me more content 

Than can thy hours in pleasure spent. 

Nor are they shadows which I catch. 

Nor fancies vain at which I match. 

But reach at things that are so high 

Beyond thy dull capacity. 

Eternal substance I do see. 

With which enriched I would be; 

Mine eye doth pierce (he heavens, int! see 

Whi.t i. invisihie to thee. 

My garments are not silk or gold. 

Nor such like trash which earth doth hold. 


262 The Writings of Mrs. Anm Brddstreet 

But royal robes I shall have on. 

More glorious than the glistering sun. 

My crown not diamonds, pearls, and gold. 

But such as angels' heads enfold. 

The city where I hope to dwell 

There 's none on earth can parallel: 

The stately walls, both high and strong. 

Arc made of precious jasper stone; 

The gates of pearl both rich and clear. 

And angels are for porters there; 

The streets thereof transparent gold. 

Such as no eye did e'er behold; 

A crystal river there doth run. 

Which doth proceed from the Lamb's throne; 

Of life there are the waters sure. 

Which shall remain for ever pure; 

Of sun or moon they have no need. 

For glory doth from God proceed — 

No candle there, nor yet torch-light. 

For there shall be no darksome night. 

From sickness and infirmity 

For evermore they shall be free. 

Nor withering age shall e'er come there. 

But beauty shall be bright and clear. 

This city pure is not for thee. 

For things unclean there shall not be. 

If I of Heaven may have my fill. 

Take thou the world, and all that will. 


A> he Mid vanity, >o viin ray 1. 

O vinity, O vain all under »ky ! 

Where ii ihc man can say, Lo, I have found 

On brittle earth a consolation sound I 

What, i» it in honor Co be set on high ! 

No; they like bcaits and sons of men ihall die ; 

And whilst they !ive, how oft doth turn their fate — 

He -s now a captive [hat was kiny of Ulc. 

What, is it in wealth, great treasures to obtain? 

No; that *s but labor, anxious care, and pain. 

He heaps up riches, and he heaps up sorrow; 

It 's his lo-day, but who 's his heir to-morrow? 

What, then, content in pleasures canst thou find? 

More vain than all, that 's but to grasp the wind. 

The sensual senses for a time they please; 

Meanwhile the conscience rage, who shall appease ? 

What, is it in beauty? No; that 's but a snare; 

They 're foul enough to-day that once were fair. 

What, is it in flowering youth, or manly age? 

The first is prone to vice, the last to rage. 

Where is it, then, in wisdom, learning, arts? 

Sure if on earth it must be in those paru. 


264 The Writings of Mrs, Anne Bradstrut 

Yet these the wisest man of men did find 

But vanity, vexation of the mind; 

And he that knows the most doth still bemoan 

He knows not all that here is to be known. 

What is it then, to do as stoics tell — 

Nor laugh nor weep, let things go ill or well ? 

Such stoics are but stocks, such teaching vain; 

While man is man, he shall have ease or pain. 

If not in honor, beauty, age, or treasure. 

Nor yet in learning, wisdom, youth, or pleasure. 

Where shall I climb, sound, seek, or search, or find 

That summum bonum which may stay my mind ? 

There is a path no vulture's eye hath seen. 

Where lion fierce nor lion's whelps have been. 

Which leads unto that living crystal fount 

Who drinks thereof the world doth naught account. 

The depth and sea have said 't is not in me; 

With pearl and gold it shall not valued be. 

For sapphire, onyx, topaz, who would change ? 

It 's hid from eyes of men; they count it strange. 

Death and destruflion the fame hath heard. 

But where and what it is from heaven 's declared. 

It brings to honor which shall ne'er decay; 

It stores with wealth which time can't wear away; 

It yieldeth pleasures far beyond conceit. 

And truly beautifies without deceit; 

Nor strength, nor wisdom, nor fresh youth shall fiide» 

Nor death shall see, but are immortal made. 

Tbt ytniij if4ll Wtrldtj Thing, 

This pearl of price, this tree of life, ttiit spring. 

Who is possessed of shall reign i king. 

Nor change of state nor cares shall ever see. 

But weir his crown unto eternity. 

This satiates the sout; ihi* stays the mind: 

And all the rest but viniiy we find. 


266 The Writings of Mrs. Anm Bradstreet 


Thou ill-formed offspring of my feeble brain. 

Who after birth didst by my side remain 

Till snatched from thence by friends less wise than true 

Who thee abroad exposed to public view. 

Made thee, in rags, halting, to the press to trudge. 

Where errors were not lessened, all may judge. 

At thy return my blushing was not small 

My rambling brat — in print — should mother call. 

I cast thee by as one unfit for light. 

Thy visage was so irksome in my sight; 

Yet being mine own, at length afie£lion would 

Thy blemishes amend, if so I could. 

I washed thy face, but more defefb I saw. 

And rubbing off* a spot still made a flaw. 

I stretched thy joints to make thee even feet. 

Yet still thou runnest more hobbling than is meet. 

In better dress to trim thee was my mind. 

But naught save homespun cloth in the house I find. 

In this array 'mongst vulgars mayst thou roam. 

In critics* hands beware thou dost not come. 

And take thy way where yet thou art not known. 

If for thy father asked, say thou hadst none; 

And for thy mother, she, alas, is poor. 

Which caused her thus to send thee out of door. 

Sivtral eibtr peemt mait bj tbt autbtr upat divert of- 
e44Uiu Wirt faund aaeng htr pupers aftir btr dtaih, 
wbitb ibe nrvfr mtAnl ibauU (amt ta fu&U( oif» i 
amtngil tobitb ibtit ftlltwiag, at ibt itsirt 9/ nmt 
fritvJs thai kntm her weU, art brre imirUi. 


^TATIS SU-£ 19. 
Twice [en years old not fully told 

Since niiure gave me breath. 
My race \i run, my thread is spun, 

Lo, here is fatal Death. 
All men must die, and so must I, 


't be n 


For Adam's sake this word God spake 

When he so high provoked. 
Yet live I shaU — Ibis life 'i but imall — 

In place of highest bliss. 
Where 1 shall have all I can crave; 

No life is like to this. 
For what 's this life but care and strife f 

Since lirst we came from womb 


268 The Writings of Mrs. Anm Braistreet 

Our strength doth waste, our time doth hastCy 

And then we go to the tomb. 
O bubble blast, how long canst last 

That always art a-breaking ? — 
No sooner blown but dead and gone. 

E'en as a word that 's speaking. 
Oh, whilst I live this grace me give, 

I doing good may be. 
Then death's arrest I shall count best. 

Because it *s thy decree. 
Bestow much cost there 's nothing lost 

To make salvation sure; 
Oh, great 's the gain, though got with pain. 

Comes by profession pure. 
The race is run, the field is won. 

The viftory 's mine, I see. 
For ever know, thou envious foe. 

The foil belongs to thee. 


In anguish of my heart replete with woes. 
And wasting pains which best my body knows. 
In tossing slumbers on my wakeful bed, 
Bedrenched with tears that flowed from mournful 

Till nature had exhausted all her store. 
Then eyes lay dry, disabled to weep more. 

Bifsri tbt Birlh af Onr »/ Hrr Cblldrfn 169 

And looting up unto his throne on high 

Who sendeth help lo those in miiery. 

He chxsed away those clouds^ and let me sec 

My anchor cast in the vate with utety; 

He cased my soul of woe. my flesh oi pain. 

And brought me to the shore from troubled main. 


Alt things within thia fading world have end. 
Adversity doth still our joys attend; 
No ties so strong, do friends io dear and awcei, 
But with death's parting blow are sure to meet. 
The sentence passed is most irrevocable, 
A common thing, yet, oh, inevitable. 
How soon, my dear, death may my steps attend. 
How soon it may be ihy lot 10 lose thy friend. 
We both are ignorant; yet love bids me 
These fiircwell lines to recommend to thee. 
Thai when that knot 'a untied that made us one 
1 may seem thine who in eCefl am none. 
And if I see not half my daya that are due. 
What nature would God grant (□ yours and you. 
The many faults thai well yon know I Have 
Lc( be interred in my oblivion's gravCi 
If any worth or virtue were in me. 
Let that live freshly in thy memory. 


270 The Writings of Mrs, Anne BrMistrtet 

And when thou feelest no grief, as I no harms. 
Yet love thy dead, who long lay in thine arms; 
And when thy loss shall be repaid with gains 
Look to my little babes, my dear remains. 
And if thou love thyself, or lovedst me. 
These oh protc6l from stepdam's injury. 
And if chance to thine eyes shall bring this verse. 
With some sad sighs honor my absent hearse; 
And kiss this paper for thy love's dear sake. 
Who with salt tears this last farewell did take. 

A. B. 


If ever two were one, then surely we; 
If ever man were loved by wife, then thee; 
If ever wife was happy in a man. 
Compare with mc, ye women, if you can. 
1 prize thy love more than whole mines of gold. 
Or all the riches that the East doth hold. 
My love is such that rivers cannot quench. 
Nor aught but love from thee give recompense. 
Thy love is such I can no way repay; 
The heavens reward thee manifold, I pray. 
Then while we live in love let *s so persevere 
That when we live no more we may live ever. 

A Lttttr t» Her Hmfi«*i 17 1 


My head, my heirt, mine cyn, my lire,— nay, more, 

My joy, my magazine of earthly siore, — 

If two be one, as surely thou antl f. 

How Btayest thou there, whilat 1 at Ijuwich liei — 

So many stepi head from the heart 10 sever; 

If bui a neck soon should wc be together. 

1, like the earth this season, mourn in black. 

My sun is gone so far in his zodiac. 

Whom whilst I enjoyed nor storms nor frwti I 




1 th< 

Which swe 

ch frigid colds did cause to melt. 
b) now numbed lie forlorn; 
sweet Sol, from Capricorn! 
ne, alas, what can I more 
se fruits which through thy heat I 

■ space. 

t yield me for a 
True living pifturcs of their father's face. 

strange eSefl! now thou art southward gone 

1 weary grow, the tedious day so long; 

Bui when thou northward to me shalt return 
[ wish my sun may never set, but burn 
Wiihin ihc Cancer of my glowing breast. 
The welcome house of him my dearest gueit. 


272 Tbi Writings of Mrs. Anne Brnisireei 

Where ever, ever stay, and go not thence 

Till nature's sad decree shall call thee hence. 

Flesh of thy flesh, bone of thy bone, 

I here, thou there, yet both but one. 

A. B. 


Phcebus, make haste, the day *8 too long, be gone; 

The silent night 's the fittest time for moan. 

But stay this once, unto my suit give ear. 

And tell my griefs in either hemisphere; 

And if the whirling of thy wheels don*t drown 

The woeful accents of my doleful sound. 

If in thy swift career thou canst make stay, 

I crave this boon, this errand by the way: 

Commend me to the man more loved than life; 

Show him the sorrows of his widowed wife — 

My dumpish thoughts, my groans, my brackish tears« 

My sobs, my longing hopes, my doubting fears; 

And if he love, how can he there abide ? 

My interest 's more than all the world beside. 

He that can tell the stars or ocean sand. 

Or all the grass that in the meads do stand. 

The leaves in the woods, the hails, or drops of nuB« 

Or in a corn-field number every grain. 

Or every mote that in the sunshine hops. 

May count my sighs, and numlier all my drops. 

Tell him the countless steps that thou dost trace 

That once a day thy spouse thon mayst embrace; 

A Ulltr u Hit limianJ 

And when thou nnat nut unc by loving mouth 

Thy riyt afar aaluic her from the »outh. 

But for unc month I sec no day, pour soul. 

Like those far sjiuite under the Pole, 

Which diy by day long wait for thy arixe; 

Oh, how they joy when thou dost light the tkica! 

O PhfEbui, hid&t thou but thus long from thine 

Restrained the beams of thy beloved shine. 

At thy return, if bo thou couldst or duni. 

Behold a chaos blacker than the first. 

Tell him here 'a worse than a coriftiscd matter — 

His little world 's a fathom under water; 

Naughi but the fervor of his «Tdcni beams 

Haih power to dry ihe torrent of these streunt. 

Tell him I would say more, but cannot well; 

Oppressed minds abruplest tales do tell. 

Now post with double speed, mark what I My, 

By all our loves conjure him not to stay. 


A> loving hind that, hartless, tvints her deer 

Scuds through the woods and fern with barkening car. 

Perplexed, in every bush and nook doth pry 

Her dearest deer might answer ear or eye. 

So dolh my anxious sou!, which now doth miw 

A dearer dear, far dearer heart, than thii. 

Still wait with doubts, and hopes, and failing eye 

His voice to hear or person to descry. 


274 ^'^^ Writings of Mrs, Auue Braistrett 

Or as the pensive dove doth all alone 
On withered bough most uncouth ly bemoan 
The absence of her love and loving mate 
Whose loss hath made her so unfortunate. 
E'en thus do I, with many a deep sad groan. 
Bewail my turtle true who now is gone, 
His presence and his safe return still woo 
With thousand doleful sighs and mournful coo. 
Or as the loving mullet, that true fish. 
Her follow lost nor joy nor life doth wish. 
But launches on that shore there for to die 
Where she her captive husband doth espy. 
Mine being gone, I lead a joyless life. 
I have a loving feer, yet seem no wife; 
But worst of all, to him can't steer mv course — 
I here, he there, alas, both kept by force. 
Return, my dear, my joy, my only love, 
Untu thy hind, thy mullet, and thy dove. 
Who neither joys in pasture, house, nor streams; 
The substance gone, oh me, these are but dreams. 
Together at one tree oh let us browse. 
And like two turtles roost within one house, 
And like the mullets in one river glide — 
Let 's still remain but one, till death divide. 

Thy loving love and dearest dear. 
At home, abroad, and everywhere, 

A. B. 

In RtfiTtnu I* Htr ChUJrea 


Moir truly honored, wad u truly deir. 
If worth io me or laghl I do appear 
Who can of right better ilemind ilie uime 
Than may your worthy self, froni whom it camcf 
The principal might yield a greater turn, 
Yei. handled ill, amounts but to thi* crumb. 
My iiock 's 30 small I know not how to pay. 
My bond remains in force unto this dayi 
Vet for pan payment take this simple mite. 
Where nothing 's to be had kings lose iheir right. 
Such is my debt I may not say " ForgiTc!" 
But as 1 can I'll pay it while I Hve; 
Such is my bond none can discharge but 1, 
Vet, paying, is not paid until 1 die. 


13 JUNE, i6s9. 

I had eight birds hatched in one n«(i 
Four corks there were, and hens the retr. 
I nursed them up with pain and care. 

N.)r CL.,l nor Uboi did \ 'p.i.t. 
Till at the last they fell their wing. 
Mounted [he trees, and learned to sing. 


276 The Writings of Mrs. Anne Brads trett 

Chief of the brood then took his flight 
To regions far, and left me quite; 
My mournful chirps I after send 
Till he return or I do end: 
Leave not thy nest, thy dam, and sire; 
Fly back and sing amidst this choir. 
My second bird did take her flight. 
And with her mate flew out of sight; 
Southward they both their course did bend. 
And seasons twain they there did spend. 
Till after, blown by southern gales. 
They northward steered with filled sails. 
A prettier bird was nowhere seen 
Along the beach, among the treen. 
I have a third, of color white. 
On whom I placed no small delight; 
Coupled with mace loving and true. 
Hath also bid her dam adieu, 
"^And where Aurora first appears 
She now hath perched to spend her years. 
One to the academy fiew 
To chat among that learned crew; 
Ambition moves still in his breast 
That he might chant above the rest. 
Striving for more than to do well — 
^* '/ That nightingales he might excel. 

My fifth, whose down is yet scarce gone. 
Is 'mongst the shrubs and bushes flown. 


la Rcfirtnii « UfT CbiUrtw t 

And as his wings incrciK in sCicngth 
On higher houghs he '11 perch «( length. 
My oihcr three still with me nesi 
Until they 're grown; then, u the re»t. 
Or here or there they '11 t«ke their flight; 
\A) is ordained, 90 shall ihey light. 
If birds could weep, then would my tears 
Let others know what arc my fears 
Lest this my brood some harm ihouM catch 
And be surprised for want of watch: 
Whilst pecking com, and void of care, '• / 
They fall unawares in fowler's snare; 
Or whilst on trees they sit and sing. 
Some untoward boy at them do Ring; 
Or whilst allured with bell and glass. 
The net be spread, and caught, alas! 
Or lest by lime-twigs they be foiled. 
Or by some greedy hawks be spoiled. 
Oh, would, my young, ye saw my breast. 
And knew what thoughts there sadly rest. 
Great was my pain when t you bred. 
Great was my circ when 1 you fed; 
Long did I keep you soft and warm. 
And with my wings kept off all harm. 
My cares arc more, and fears, than ever. 
My throbs such now as 'fore were never. 
Alas, my birds, you wisdom want; 
Of perils you are ignorant — 


278 The fFritings •/ Mrs. Anue BrMistrat 

Ofttimes in grtss, on trees, in flighty 
Sore accidents on you may light. 
Ohy to your safety have an eye; 
So happy may you live and die. 
'' Meanwhile my days in tunes I'll spend 
Till my weak lays with me shall end; 
In shady woods I Ml sit and sing. 
Things that are past to mind I Ml bring — 
Once young and pleasant, as are you. 
But former toys, — not joys, — adieu! 
My age I will not once lament. 
But sing my time so near is spent. 
And from the top bough take my flight 
Into a country beyond sight. 
Where old ones instantly grow young. 
And there with seraphims set song. 
No seasons cold nor storms they see. 
But spring lasts to eternity. 
When each of you shall in your nest 
Among your young ones take your rest. 
In chirping language oft them tell 
You had a dam that loved you well. 
That did what could be done for young. 
And nursed you up till you were strong; 
And 'fore she once would let you fly 
She showed you joy and misery. 
Taught what was good, and what was ill. 
What would save life, and what would kill* 

In Mfmtry »f Efizainb Bmdttrttt 279 

Thu» gone, «mongat you I may live. 
And deaU, yci speak, and countcl give. 
Pwewell, my birda, tiirewell, idieu! 
I happy am if well with you. 


Farewell, dear babe, my heart's (00 much rontentl 
Farewell, iweei babe, the pleasure of mine eye! 
Farewell, fair flower that for a (pace wai lent. 

Then taken away unto eternity! 
BIcsi babe, whv should I ooce bewail thy fale. 
Or sigh the dayi so soon were icrminate. 
Since thou art settled in an everlasting state ? 

By nature trees do rot when they are grown, 

And plums and apples throughly ripe do HW, 
And corn and grass are in their season mown. 

And time brings down what is both strong and tall. ** 
Bui plants new set to be eradicate. 
And buds new blown to have so short a date, 
h by His hand alone that guides nature and fate. 


28o The Writings of Mrs. Anne Brndstreet 


With troubled heart and trembling hand I write. 

The heavens have changed to sorrow my delight. 

How oft with disappointment have I met 

When I on fading things my hopes have set. 

Experience might 'fore this have made me wise 

To value things according to their price. 

Was ever stable joy yet found below ? 

Or perfeft bliss without mixture of woe? 

I knew she was but as a withering flower. 

That 's here to-day , perhaps gone in an hour; 

Like as a bubble, or the brittle glass. 

Or like a shadow turning, as it was. 

More fool, then, I to look on that was lent 

As if mine own, when thus impermanent. 

Farewell, dear child; thou ne'er shalt come to me. 

But yet a while and I shall go to thee. 

Meantime my throbbing heart 's cheered up with this — 

Thou with thy Saviour art in endless bliss. 

T« ibt MtMtry »f Mtrty BrAdiirtti 18 1 


No sooner come but gone, tnd fttkn Miecp; 

Ac<|u>JDtincc short, yet parting ctuicd ut weep. 

Three flowers — two scarcely blown, ihclast in bud — 

Cropped by the Almighty'i hand! Yci ii he good. 

With drcidtiU awe before him Ici 's be mute. 

Such WIS his will, bui why let 's not ditpuK. 

With humble hearts and mouths pol in the diui 

Let ■» aay he 's merciful as well as just. 

He will return, and make up ail our losies. 

And smile again, after our bitier crosses. 

Go, pretty babe; go rest with sisters (wain; 

Among the blest in endless joys remain. 

6, 1670, IN THE 18TH YEAR OF HER AGE. 
And live I still to see relations gone? 
And yet survive to sound this wailing Cone f 
Ah. woe is me, ro write thy funeral song 
Who might in reason yet have lived long. 


282 The Writings of Mrs, Anne Bradstreet 

I saw the branches lopped, the tree now fall, 

I stood so nigh it crushed me down withal; 

My bruised heart lies sobbing at the root 

That thou, dear son, hath lost both tree and fruit. 

Thou then, on seas sailing to foreign coast. 

Wast ignorant what riches thou hadst lost; 

But, ah I too soon those heavy tidings fly 

To strike thee with amazing misery. 

Oh, how I sympathize with thy sad heart. 

And in thy griefs still bear a second part. 

I lust a daughter dear, but thou a wife 

Who loved thee more, it seemed, than her own life — 

Thou being gone, she longer could not be 

Because her soul she *d sent along with thee. 

One week she only passed in pain and woe. 

And then her sorrows all at once did go. 

A babe she left before she soared above. 

The tifth and last pledge of her dying love. 

Ere nature would it hither did arrive; 

No wonder it no longer did survive. 

So with her children four she 's now at rest. 

All freed from grief, I trust, among the blest. 

She one hath left, a joy to thee and me; 

I'he heavens vouchsafe she may so ever be. 

Cheer up, dear son, thy fainting bleeding heart 

In Him alone that caused all this siBart. 

What though thy strokes full sad and grievous be? 

He knows it is the best for thee and me. 


Ask not why hearts mm magazines orpaiitoni, 

An<J why thai grief ii dad in aevent faihiant; 

Why )he on progress goes, and doth not borrow 

The jmalleii respite fiam the exiremc) of sorrow. 

Her misery is got [□ such an height 

As makci the carlh groin to luppori its wdghl; 

Such stornn of woe so sironglv have bext her 

She hath no place lor worse nor hope for belter. 

Her comfort is, if any for her be, 

I'hat none can show more cause of grief than she. 


284 ^ Funeral Elegy upon Mrs, Anne Brndstreei 

Ask not why some in mournful black are clad: 

The sun is set; there needs must be a shade. 

Ask not why every face a sadness shrouds: 

The setting sun o'ercast us hath with clouds. 

Ask not why the great glory of the sky. 

That gilds the stars with heavenly alchemy. 

Which all the world doth lighten with his rays. 

The Persian god, the monarch of the days — 

Ask not the reason of his ecstasy. 

Paleness of late, in midnoon majesty; 

Why that the palcfaccd empress of the night 

Disrobed her brother of his glorious light. 

Did not the language of the stars foretell 

A mournful scene when they with tears did swell? 

Did not the glorious people of the sky 

Seem sensible of future misery? 

Did not the lowering heavens seem to express 

The world's great loss, and their unhappiness? 

Behold how tears flow from the learned hill. 

How the bereaved Nine do daily fill 

The bosom of the fleeting air with groans 

And woeful accents, which witness their moans; 

How do the goddesses of verse, the learned choir. 

Lament their rival quill, which all admire. 

Could Maro's muse but hear her lively strain 

He would condemn his works to Are again. 

Mcthinks I hear the patron of the spring. 

The unshorn deity, abruptly sing: 

A Funeral Klt£j upin Mri. Anne Brtdiiritt 28; 

"Some do for onguith neep; for anger I 
That ignorance should live and arl should die. 
Black, laul, dismal, inauspicious day, 
Unblest for ever by Sol's precious ray. 
Be ii ihc first or mitcries 10 all. 
Or Ust of life, defamed lor funera). 
When this day yearly comes lei every one 
Ci9t in their urn ihe black and dtimsl xtane; 
Succeeding years as they their circuit go 
Leap o'er this day, as a sad cime of woc, 
Farewell, my muse; since thou hist left thy ituinc 
1 am unblest in One, but Hesi in Nine. 
Fair Thespian ladies, light your torches alli 
Attend your glory to its funeral. 
To court her ashes with a learned tear, 
A briny sacrifice, let not a smile appear." 
Grave matron, whoso seeks to blazon thee 
Needs not make use of wit's false heraldry; 
Whoso should give thee all thy worth would iwell 
So high as it would turn the world Inlidel. 
Had he great Maro's muse, or Tully's tongue. 
Or raping numbers like the Thracian song. 
In crowning of her merits he would be 
Sumptuously poor, low in hyperholc. 
To write is easy; but to write on thee 
Truth would be thought to forfeit modesty. 
He '11 seem a poet that shall speak but true; 
Hyperboles in others are ihy due. 


286 ^ Funeral Elegy upM Mrs, Annt Brddstreei 

Like a most servile flatterer he will show. 
Though he write truth, and make the subjed you. 
Virtue ne'er dies; time will a poet raise. 
Born under better stars, shall sing thy praise. 
Praise her who list, yet he shall be a debtor. 
For art ne'er feigned nor nature framed a better. 
Her virtues were so great that they do raise 
A work to trouble fame, astonish praise. 
Whenas her name doth but salute the ear. 
Men think that they perfection's abstra6^ hear. 
Her breast was a brave palace, a Broad-street, 
Where all heroic ample thoughts did meet. 
Where nature such a tenement had ta'en 
That others' souls to hers dwelt in a lane. 
Beneath her feet pale envy bites her chain. 
And poison malice whets her sting in vain. 
Let every laurel, tvcry myrtle bough. 
Be stripped for leaves to adorn and load her 

brow — 
Victorious wreaths, which 'cause they never fade 
Wise elder times for kings and poets made. 
Let not her happy memory e'er lack 
Its worth in fame's eternal almanac. 
Which none shall read but straight their loss 

And blame their fates they were not born before. 
Do not old men rejoice their fates did last. 
And infants, too, that theirs did make such haste 

A Ftntral E/rgj upaii Mrs. Anmt Brtiitrtti 187 

In such ■ welcome Hme to bring them forth 
Th«t ihcy might !>c a wilneas to her worth? 
Who underiikci thi> suhjcfl to commend 
Shall nothing find w hard ai how to end. 


Omnia Rtmitnit filteHl miraeala gfiith. 



[All the rotlawing comporitioni o( Mn. Bndttreei 
were tint primed in ihe 1867 edilion of her wntitigs 
edited hy Mr. John H. Ellis. He found them in 1 
small journal in the poMession of one of her dwcen- 
dants. The "Meditations Divine (rd Moril " were 
in the hindwriiing at Mr). Bradsireet hertelf.] 


Ptrems perpetuitc ihcir livei b their posieHly, and 
their mannen in their imititiati. Children do natu- 
rally mher I'ollow ihc fkilinga thin the vinuci or 
their prcdcccMors; but I «m pcnuidcd better thing! 
of you. You once desired foe lo leave tomeihing for 
you in writing thii you might look upon when you 
should tee me no more. I could think ol' nothing more 
fit for you, nor of more case to myaclf, than these 
short meditation) following. Such as they are I be- 
queath to you : small legacies are accepted by true 
friends, much more by dutifiil children. I have 
avoided encroaching upon others' conceptions, bc- 
cauie I would leave you nothing but mine own; 
though in value they lall short of all in ihii kind, 
yci 1 presume ihey will be better prized by you for 
the author's sake. The Lord bless you willi grace 
here, end crown you with glory hereafter, that I may 
mcci you with rejoicing at thai great day of appcar- 
in^;, ivliith is the continual prayer of 

Vour aK;fUonate ro oilier, 
March 20. 1664. A. B. 


292 The Writings of Mrs, Anne Bradstreet 


There is no objed that we see, no a6lion that we 
do, no good that we enjoy, no evil that we feel or 
fear, but we may make some spiritual advantage of all; 
and he that makes such improvement is wise as well 

as pious. 

Many can speak well, but few can do well. We 
are better scholars in the theory than the practice 
part; but he is a true Christian that is a proficient in 

Youth is the time of getting, middle age of improv- 
ing^ and old age of spending; a negligent youth is usu- 
ally attended by an ignorant middle age, and both by 
an empty old age. He that hath nothing to feed on 
but vanity and lies must needs lie down in the bed of 

A ship that bears much sail, and little or no ballast, 
is easily overset; and that man whose head hath great 
abilities, and his heart little or no grace, is in danger 
of foundering. 

It is reported of the peacock that priding himself 
in his gay feathers he ruffles them up; but spying his 
black feet he soon lets fall his plumes. So he that 
glories in his gifts and adornings should look upon his 
corruptions, and that will damp his high thoughts. 

The finest bread huh the least bnn, the pureii 
honey the least wai, and the sinccrcsl Chmiiui the 
lease self-love. 

The hireling that labors all the day comfoni him* 
icif that when night eomcs he shall hotli lake his rest 
and receive his reward. The painful Christian that haih 
wrought hard in God's vineyard, and hath borne the 
heat and drought of the day, when he perceives his 
sun apace lu decline, and the abadows of his evening 
to be stretched out, lift* up his head with joy, know- 
ing his refreshing is at hand. 

Downy beds make drowsy persons, hut hard lodg- 
ing keeps the eyes open. A prosperous state makes a 
secure Christian, but adversity makes him consider. 

k Sweet words are like honey: a little may refresh, 
but too much gluts the stomach. 

Diverse children have their different natures: tome 
are like flesh which nothing but sail will keep from 
putrefaflion; some again like tender fruits that arc 
best preserved with sugar. Those parcnia are wise that 
can lit their nurture according to their nature. 

' That town which thousanda of enemies without 
hath not been able to take hath been delivered up by 
one traitor within; and thai man which all the temp. 
tations of Satan without could 001 hurl hach b«en 
soiled by one lull within. 



294 ^^^ Writings of Mrs, Anne Bradstreei 

\ Authority without wisdom is like a heavy aze with- 

out an edge — fitter to bruise than polish. 

The reason why Christians are so loth to exchange 
this world for a better is because they have more 
sense than faith: they see what they enjoy, they do 
but hope for that which is to come. 

If we had no winter, the spring would not be so 
pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, 
prosperity would not be so welcome. 

A low man can go upright under that door where 
a taller is glad to stoop; so a man of weak faith and 
mean abilities may undergo a cross more patiently 
than he that excels him both in gifts and graces. 

That house which is not often swept makes the 
cleanly inhabitant soon loathe it; and that heart which 
is not continually purifying itself is no fit temple for 
the spirit of God to dwell in. 

Few men are so humble as not to be proud of their 
abilities; and nothing will abase them more than this: 
What hast thou but what thou hast received ? Come, 
give an account of thy stewardship. 

He that will undertake to climb up a steep mountain 
with a great burden on his back will find it a weari- 
some if not an impossible task; so he that thinks to 
mount to heaven clogged with the cares and riches of 
this life, 't is no wonder if he faint by the way. 


MeMtalitni Divine and Msral 


[ill ii has [ussed ihrough the mill and been 
ground lo powder rs not lil for bread. God lo dcils 
with hit servants: he grinds them with grief and pain 
till they turn lo dust, and then are they fit manchet 

God hith suitable comforti and (upporu for hii 
children according lo their tevenil conditions if he will 
make his face to shine upon them. He thee mikci 
ihem lie down in green paiturei, and leads them be- 
side the still waters; if they itick in deep miic and 
clay, and alt hi> waves and billows go over their head*, 
he then leads them lo the rock which is higher than 

He that walks among briers and ihoma will be 
very careful where he sets his foot; and he that passes 
through the wilderness of this world had need pon- 
der all his steps. 

Want of prudence as well as piety hath brought 
men into great inconveniences; but he ihai is well 
stored with both seldom is so ensnared. 

The skilful fisher hath his several baits for several 
lish, hut there is a hook under all; Satan, that great 
angler, haih his sundry baits for sundry tempers of 
men, which they all ciich greedily at, but few per- 
ceive the hook till it be loo late. 


thing under the sunj there i) noih- 


[All the follQwiog compouiioni of Mra. BradatKct 
were firsi prinled in ihe 1867 cdilion of her wrillngs 
edited by Mr. John H. Ellii. He found ihem in > 
small journal in [he possession of one of her descen- 
dants. The "Meditations Divine and Moral" were 
in the handwriting of Mrs. Bradttreet henelf.] 


19 ••» 


298 The Writings of Mrs. Anne Bradstreet 

feed upon more substantial food, yet they are so child- 
ishly sottish that they are still hugging and sucking 
these empty breasts, that God is forced to hedge up 
their way with thorns, or lay affliftion on their loins, 
that so they might shake hands with the world before 
it bid them farewell. 

A prudent mother will not clothe her little child 
with a long and cumbersome garment; she easily fore- 
sees what events it is like to produce — at the best but 
falls and bruises, or perhaps somewhat worse. Much 
more will the All-wise God proportion his dispensa- 
tions according to the stature and strength of the 
person he bestows them on. Large endowments of 
honor, wealth, or a healthful body would quite over- 
throw some weak Christian; therefore God cuts their 
garments short, to keep them in such a trim that they 
might run the ways of his commandment. 

The spring is a lively emblem of the Resurrection. 
After a long winter we see the leafless trees and dry 
stalks at the approach of the sun to resume their 
former vigor and beauty in a more ample manner than 
what they lost in the autumn. So shall it be at that 
great clay, after a long vacation, when the Sun of Right- 
eousness shall appear: those dry bones shall arise in far 
more glory than that which they lost at their creation, 
and in this transcend the spring — that their leaf shall 
never fail, nor their sap decline. 

MtdiliithMi Dhlitt Mil Mrr4l 


A wise father will not lay ■ burden on ■ child of 
icveii years old which he knows is cnou|;h for one of 
rwicc his aircngth; much leas will our heavenly Father, 
who knows our mold, lay luch alBiAiaai upon his 
weak children t» would cruth ihcm to the dutt, but 
according to the strength he will propunion the load. 
A> Gud hath hi) little children, to he hath hi) iirong 
men, «uch a« are come lo a full stature in Chriii; and 
many timei he impose* weighty Inirdcna on iheii 
ihoulden, and yet they go upTighi under (hem. But it 
maiien not whether the load be more or IcM if God 
affbrd hii help. 

" I have seen an end of all perfeftion," laid ihc royal 
prophet; but he never said, " I have seen an end of all 
Binning." What he did ay may be easily taid by many; 
but what he did nut say cannot truly be uttered by any. 

Fire hath it* force abated by water, not by wind; 
and anger must be allayed by cold words, and not by 
blustering threats. 

A sharp appetite and a thorough concoAion are a 
sign of an healthful budy; eo a quick reception and 

a dclibctaic cogitation argue a aound mind. 

We often see stones hang with drops, not from any 

innate moisture, but from a thick air about them; so 
niav wc sometimes see marble- hearted sinners seem 
full of coniriiion, but it is not from any dew of grace 


300 The Writings of Mrs, Anne Brads tree i 

within, hut from some black clouds that impend them, 
which produce these sweating efiefls. 

The words of the wise, saith Soloinon, are as nails 
and as goads, both used for contrary ends — the one 
holds fast, the other puts forward. Such should be the 
precepts of the wise masters of assemblies to their 
hearers, not onlv to bid them hold fast the form of 
sound doArinc, but also so to run that they might 

A shadow in the parching sun and a shelter in a 
blustering storm are of all seasons the most welcome; 
so a faithful friend in time of adversity is of all other 
most comfortable. 

There is nothing admits of more admiration than 
God*s various dispensation of his gifts among the sons 
of men, betwixt whom he hath put so vast a dispro- 
portion that they scarcely seem made of the same 
lump or sprung out of the loins of one Adam: some 
set in the highest dignity that mortality is capable of, 
and some again so base that they are viler than the 
earth; some so wise and learned that they seem like 
angels among men, and some again so ignorant and 
sottish that thev are more like beasts than men; some 
pious saints, some incarnate devils; some exceeding 
beautiful, and some extremely deformed; some so 
strong and healthful that their bones are full of mar- 
row and their breasts of milk, and some again so weak 

Mtdiiatitni Divint and Maral 301 

■nd feeble ihii, while (hey live, ihcy »rc •ccounied 
■moRg the dead. And no cither rcaaon can be ^vcn 
of all [hU but ^ it ple»cd Him wboK will :> the 
pcrfcfl rule oi righicougncu. 

The treasures ol' this world may well be compared 
to huiba; for they have nu kernel in ihem, iiid they 
that feed upon ihem may soon iIufT (heir ihroati but 
ntnoot fill ihcit bellies — ihey may be choked by ihcm, 
hui cannot be eatiificd with them, 

Someiimcs ihc sun is only shadowed by a cloud 
thai wc cannot see his luster, although we may walk 
by his light; but when he is set wc arc in darkncs* llll 
he arise again. So God dolh sometimes veil his face but 
lor 1 moment that wc cannot behold the light of hit 
countenance as at lomc other time; yei he afford) so 
much light as may djreft our way, that wc may go 
forward to the city of habitation. But when he seemt 
to sei and be quite gone out of tight, then mutt wc 
needs walk in darkness and see no light; yet then must 
wc trust in the Lord, and stay upon our God, *nd 
when the morning, which is the appointed time, it 
come the Sun of RighicoutncM will ariae with healing 

The eyes and the can arc the inlets or doors of the 
soul, ilir.iuph i^hiih innumcraliic objcfls enter; ycl is 
not that spacious room tilled, neither dotii it crcrny, 
"It is enough!" but like the ilaughten of ibe hone- 



302 The fFritings §f Mrs. Anne Brmdstrtet 

leech cries, ''Give! Give!" And, which is most 
strange, the more it receives, the more empty it finds 
itself, and sees an impossibility ever to be filled but 
by Him in whom all Rilness dwells. 

Had not the wisest of men tiught as this lesson, 
that all is vanity and vexation of spirit, yet our own 
experience would soon have spelled it out; for what 
do we obtain of all these things but it is with labor and 
vcxaiion ? When we enjoy them it is with vanity and 
vexation; and if we lose them then they are less than 
vanity and more than vexation. So that we have good 
cause often to repeat that sentence, ** Vanity of vani- 
ties, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.*' 

He that is to sail into a far country, although the 
ship, cabin, and provision be all convenient and com- 
fortable for him, yet he hath no desire to make that 
his place of residence, but longs to put in at that port 
where his business lies. A Christian is sailing through 
this world unto his heavenly country, and here he 
hath many conveniences and comforts; but he must be- 
ware of desiring to make this the place of his abode, lest 
he meet with such tossings that may cause him to long 
for shore before he sees land. We must, therefore, 
he here as strangers and pilgrims, that we may plainly 
declare that we seek a city above, and wait all the 
days of our appointed time till our change shall come. 

He that never felt what it was to be sick or 

MtJiiinitm Divine and Msritl 


wounded doih not much care for (he coin|iany ot' the 
phyxiciin or chirurgeun; hui if he perceive i nulmJy 
thai threatens him with death he will gladly entertain 
him whom he ilighted before. So he that never felt 
the sickneu of lin nor ihc wounds of a guilty conscience 
carc» not how far he keeps from him thai hmh skill lo 
cure it; but when he linda hit diseaiici lodisircu lUm, 
and that he muat nccdi periih if he have no reniedy, 
will unfeigncdty bid htm welcome chat bringi a plas- 
ter for hit tore or a coidial for hi* fainting. 

We read of ten lepers that wcte cleansed, but of one 
that remmed thanks. We are more ready to receive 
meroif* than wc an' lo iicktiowIc-d(;i- llii-m. Men can 
use great importunity when they are in distreuei, and 
show great ingratitude after their succcsKt; but he 
that ordereth his convenation aright will glorify him 
thai heard him in the day of his trouble. 
, The remembrance of former deliverancei it a great 
support in present distresses. "He that delivered 
me," saiih David, " from the paw of the lion and the 
paw of the bear will deliver me from this uneircum- 
cised Philistine"; and "He that hath delivered me," 
saiih Paul, "will deliver me." God is the tamp 
yesterday, lo-day, and for ever; we are the same that 
stand in need of him, to-day as well as yesterday, and 
so shall for ever. 

Great receipts call for great returns; the more that 


304 The WritiMgs tf Mrs. Amu Brmdstreet 

any man is intrasted withal, the larger his accounts 
stand upon God's score. It therefore behooves ereiy 
man so to improve his talents that when his great Mas- 
ter shall call him to reciconing he may receiye his own 
with advantage. 

Sin and shame ever go together; he that wonid be 
freed from the last must be sore to shun the company 
of the first. 

God doth many times both reward and punish fer 
one and the same aflion. As we see in Jehu, he u 
rewarded with a kingdom to the fourth generation for 
taking vengeance on the house of Ahab; and yet "A 
little while," saith God, "and I will avenge the blood 
of Jezebel upon the house of Jehu." He was rewarded 
for the matter, and yet punished for the manner; which 
should warn him that doth any special service for 
God to fix his eye on the command, and not on his 
own ends, lest he meet with Jehu's reward, which 
will end in punishment. 

He that would be content with a mean condition 
must not cast his eye upon one that is in a fiu* better 
estate than himself, but let him look upon him that is 
lower than he is, and, if he see that such a one bears 
poverty comfortably, it will help to quiet him; but if 
that will not do, let him look on his own unworthi- 
ness, and that will make him say with Jacob, '*I am 
less than the least of thy mercies." 

Mtdiuiioin Divint ani Mtrnl 


Cum is pro4ucci] with much Ubor, m the hiutiNnd- 
niin well kouwB, and tame land uki mucli more 
pain< than some other doth la be broughl iolo lillh; 
yet all must l)« pluwed xnd h^rruwcd. Some chil- 
ilren, like lour lind, are ofao tough and moroac ■ A\t- 
poMiion that the plow of corrcfUon mutt make long 
furrowt on their back, and the harrow of discipl'me 
go often over ihcm, before ihey be fit soil to «ow the 
iced of morality, much leas of grace, in them. But 
when by prudent nurture they arc brought into a fit 
capacity, let the iced uf good imtruflton and exhorU- 
lioD be sown in the spring of their youth, and a plenti- 
ful crop may be expefled in the barveii of their years. 

A« man i> called the little world, lo hi* heart may 
be called the little common wealth; his more fixed and 
reiolvcd thoughts are like id inhabitants, his alight and 
flitting thought! arc like paiicngcri that travel to and 
fro continually. Here is also the great court of justice 
creflcd, which is always kept by conscience, who is 
both accuser, ezcuser, witness, and judge, whom no 
bribes can pervert nor flattery cause to favor, but as 
he finds [he evidence so he absolves or condemns; 



i this i. 

itself. For if our 
who is greater tha 

of judicature that there 
<t to the court of Heaven 
idemn us, he also 
will do it much 

)uld have boldnwi t 


3 the 


3o6 The Writings of Mrs. Anne Brads treei 

throne of grace to be accepted there must be sure to 
carry a certificate from the court of conscience chat 
he stands right there. 

He that would keep a pure heart and lead a blame- 
less life must set himself always in the awful pres- 
ence of God; the consideration of his all-seeing eye 
will be a bridle to restrain from evil and a spnr to 
quicken on to good duties. We certainly dream of some 
remoteness betwixt God and us, or else we should not 
so often fail in our whole course of life as we do; but 
he that with David sets the Lord always in his sight 
will not sin against him. 

We sec in orchards some trees so fruitful that the 
weight of their burden is the breaking of their limbs; 
some again are but meanly laden, and some have 
nothing to show but leaves only, and some among 
them arc dry stalks. So is it in the church, which is 
God's orchard: there are some eminent Christians 
that are so frequent in good duties that many times 
the weight thereof impairs both their bodies and es- 
tates; and there are some, and they sincere ones, too, 
who have not attained to that fruitfulness, although 
they aim at perfc6lion; and again there are others 
that have nothing to commend them but only a gay 
profession, and these are but leafy Christians which 
are in as much danger of being cut down as the dry 
stalks, for both cumber the ground. 

MeJitatitai Dit/int ^nJ M^taI J07 

Wc see in [he finn«ment there ts but one )UD >tnon{| 
a muliituiJc of #urt, and those scars also to diftcr much 
one from ihe other in regarJ of bigness and bright- 
new; yet «ll receive their light from thai one Bun. So \\ 
it in the church both miliianl and Iriumphani: there it 
but one Christ, who ii ihc Sun of Rij;htcousneM, in ihc 
midai of an innumerable company of fainis and angeU. 
Thoie saints have their degreei even in this life: some 
arc lUrs of ihc first magniiudc. and some of a leas dc- 
grec, and others — ^and they indeed ihe moii in num- 
ber — but small and obscure; yet all receive their lus- 
ter, be it more or les», from thai glorious Sun that 
enlightens all in all. And if some of (hem shine 10 
bright while ihey move on earth, how iransccndcntly 
splendid shall they be when they are fixed in their 
heavenly spheres! 

Men that have walked very extravagantly, and al 
last bethink themselves of turning to God, the fint 
thing which they eye is how to reform their ways 
rather than 10 beg forgiveness for their sins. Nature 
looks more ai i compeniaiian than at a pardon; but 
he [hat will not come for mercy without money «id 
without price, but brings his filthy rags to barter for it, 
thsll mcc[ with miserable disappointment, going away 
empty, hearing the reproach of his priitr and foUv. 

All ihc works and doings of God are wonderRiI, 
bui none more awful than his great work of elcAion 


3o8 The Writings of Mrs, Anne Bradsireet 

and reprobation. When we consider how many good 
parents have had bad children, and again how many 
bad parents have had pious children, it should make us 
adore the sovereignty of God, who will not be tied to 
time nor place, nor yet to persons, but takes and 
chooses when and where and whom he pleases. It 
should also teach the children of godly parents to 
walk with fear and trembling, lest they, through un- 
belief, fall short of a promise. It may also be a sup- 
port to such as have or had wicked parents, that if 
they abide not in unbelief God is able to graft them 
in. I'hc upshot of all should make us, with the apostle, 
to admire the justice and mercy of God, and say. How 
unsearchable are his ways, and his footsteps past find- 
ing out. 

I'hc gifts that God bestows on the sons of men 
arc not only abused, but most commonly employed 
for a clean contrary end than that which they were 
given for — as health, wealth, and honor, which might 
be so many steps to draw men to God in considera- 
tion of his bountv towards them, but have driven them 
the further from him, that they are ready to say. We 
are lords; we will come no more at thee. If outward 
blessings be not as wings to help us mount upwards 
they will certainly prove clogs and weights that will 
pull us lower downward. , 

All the comforts of this life may be compared to the 


Midiutititi Divine And Mir^t 309 

gaurd of Jonah, (hat noiwiihtunding wc take grcai dc- 
liglii fur a Ki£on in ihcm, and Jind their ahidcw very 
comfortable, yet (here is aouie worm or other of dis- 
content, of fear, ot gnef that lies at the rooi, which 
in great paM wtthcft the pleaiure which elie we should 
take in them; ind well it is thai wc perceive a decay 
in their greenness, for were earthly eomforti penna- 
ncni, who would look tor heavenly ? 

All men are tiuly said to be tenants at will, and it 
may ai truly be said that all have a Icaae of their livei, 
some longer, some shorter, a« it pleases our great 
Landlord 10 let. All have their bounds set, over which 
ihev cjtinol pass, and 111! the cxpiraiion of that lime 
no dangers, no sickness, no pains, or troubles shall 
put a period (o our days; the certainty that that time 
will come, together with the uncertainty how, where, 
and when, should make us so to number our days h to 
apply our hearts to wisdom, that when we are put out 
of these houses of clay we may be lure of an ever- 
lasting habitation that fades not away. 

Al! weak and diseased bodies have hourly memeii- 
los of their mortality. But the soundest of men have 
likewise iheir nightly monitor by the emblem of 
death, which is [heir sleep, for so is death often called; 
and not only their death, but their grave is lively rep- 
resented before their eyes by beholding their bed. 
The morning may mind them of the RcturreAion; 


3 lo The Writmgs 9f Mrs, Amme Brmdsirtti 

and the sun^ approaching, of the appearing of the Sun 
of Righteousness, at whose coming they shall all rise 
out of their beds, the long night shall flee away, and 
the day of eternity shall never end. Seeing these 
things must be, what manner of persons ought we to 
be in all good conversation ? 

As the brands of a fire, if once severed, will of 
themselves go out, although you use no other means 
to extinguish them, so distance of place, together with 
length of time, if there be no intercourse, will cool the 
aifcflions of intimate friends, though there should be 
no displeasance between them. 

A good name is as a precious ointment, and it is a 
great favor to have a good repute among good men. 
Yet it is not that which commends us to God, for by 
his balance we must be weighed, and by his judgment 
we must be tried; and as he passes the sentence, so 
shall we stand. 

Well doth the apostle call riches deceitful riches, 
and they may truly be compared to deceitful friends 
who speak fair and promise much, but perform noth- 
ing, and so leave those in the lurch that most relied on 
them. So is it with the wealth, honors, and pleasures 
of this world, which miserably delude men and make 
them put great confidence in them; but when death 
threatens, and distress lays hold upon them, they prove 
like the reeds of Egypt that pierce instead of support- 

MtJiialhni Divitt and Mtr»l 


I ihe lime of drought, that 
cr in them return with their 

ing, like empty welli 
those that go to find w. 
empty ]>Licher) lahimed. 

It is «dmirable to coniider the power of ftuh, by 
which all things arc ilmosi pouible to he done. It 
nn remove mounixini, if need were; it hath utayed the 
eoumc of the «un, raised the dead, cast out devils, re- 
vcriicd the order of nature, ijuenched the violcnee of the 
fire, ui»Je the water become firm footing for Peter lo 
walk on. Nay, more than all these, it hath overcome 
the Omnipotent himself, as, when Moses interceded for 
the people, God said lo him, "Let me alone that I 
may destroy them!" — as it Moies had been able, by the 
hand of faith, to hold the everlasting arms of the mighty 
God of Jacob. Yea, Jacob him&cif, when he wrestled 
with God face to face in Penicl, " Lci me go," said 
thai angel. •■ I will not let thee go," replied Jacob, 
" till thou blesi me!" Faith is not only thus potent. 
Kit it is so necessary that without faith there is no ut- 
valiun; therefore, with all our scekings and gettings, 
let u) above all seek to obtain this pearl of price. 

Some Christians do by their lusts and corrupciona 
as the Israelites did by the Canaanttci, not desuoy 
(hem, t'ut put [hem under tribute; for that they could 
di), a^ ihoy thought, with less hazard and more profit. 
Bui what was the issue? They became a snare unto 
ihem, pricks in ihcir eyes and thorns in their sidei. 


3 1 2 The fVrittHgs rf Mrs, Anne Brnistrett 

and at last overcame them and kept them under slavery. 
So it is most certain that those that are disobedient 
to the command of God, and endeavor not to the 
utmost to drive out all their accursed inmates, but 
make a league with them, they shall at last fall into 
perpetual bondage under them unless the great deliv- 
erer, Christ jesus, come to their rescue. 

God hath by his providence so ordered that no one 
country hath all commodities within itself, but what 
it wants another shall supply, that so there may be a 
mutual commerce through the world. As ii is with 
countries so it is with men: there was never vet anv 
one man that had all excellences; let his parts, natural 
and acquired, spiritual and moral, be never so large, 
yet he stands in need of something which another man 
hath, perhaps meaner than himself, which shows us 
pcrfcAiun is not below, as also that God will have 
us beholden one to another. 

[<'My honored and dear mother intended to have 
tilled up this book with the like observations, but was 
prevented by death." — Note by Simon Bradstreet,Jr.] 

[The matter on the succeeding pages was at a later 
date copied into the same journal by her son Simon, 
with this note: "A true copy of a book left by my 
honored and dear mother to her children, and found 
among some papers after her death.**] 


Tliis book, by my yet unread, 
1 tovc fat yon when I im dead. 
That, beinn gone, licrc you nuy find 
Whai was your living ntoiher'i mind. 
^4«ke use ofwhil I Ic>«c in love. 
And God shill blcH you from ihove. 

A. B. 
Mr i>EA« Children: 

I, knowing by experience that (he ezhortations of 
parents take most effe£l when the apeaken leave to 
speak, and those especially sink deepeat which ire 
spoke latest, and being ignorant whether on my 
death-bed I shall have opportunity to speak to any of 
you, much less to all, thought it the beat, whibt I 
was able, to compose some short matten (for what 
else to call ihem I know not) and bequeath to yon, 
that when I am no more with you yet I may be 
daily in your remembrance — although that is the leatt 
in my aim in what J now do, but that you may gain 
sotTie spiritual advantage by my experience. I have 


3 1 4 The IFritings of Mrs. Anne Brmdstreet 

not studied in this you read to show my skill, but to 
declare the truth ; not to set forth mywfXf^ but the 
glory of God. If I had minded the former, it had 
been perhaps better pleasing to you ; but seeing the 
last is the best, let it be best pleasing to you. 

The method I will observe shall be this : I will be- 
gin with God's dealing with me from my childhood 
to this day. In my young years, about six or seven 
as I take it, I began to make conscience of my ways, 
and what I knew was sinful — as lying, disobedience to 
parents, etc. — I avoided it. If at any time I was over- 
taken with the like evils, it was a great trouble. I 
could not be at rest till by prayer I had confessed it 
unto God. I was also troubled at the negleft of pri- 
vate duties, though too often tardy that way.V^ I also 
found much comfort in reading the Scriptures, espe- 
cially those places I thought most concerned my con- 
dition; and as I grew to have more understanding, so 
the more solace I took in them. ^ 

In a long fit of sickness which I had on my bed I 
often communed with my heart, and made my sup- 
plication to the Most High, who set me free from that 

But as I grew up to be about fourteen or fifteen I 
found my heart more carnal, and, sitting loose from 
God, vanity and the follies of youth take hold of me. 

About sixteen the Lord laid his hand sore upon me 
and smote me with the small-pox. When I was in 

Tt My Dfar CMlJrtn 


tay afflifilon, t bexnight the Lord, sod cunrcucJ my 
pride and vanity, and he wM cncreolcd of me «nd 
again resiored mc. Bui 1 rendered nut to htm accord- 
ing 10 the benefit received. 

Alter a >hon time [ changed my condition and wi* 
mirricd, and (.iine into this i-ouniry, where 1 found 
new world and new manners, at which my hcan rou 
But after I wai convinced it wu (he way of God, I 
lubmitied to it and joined to the church ai BoRon. 

After tome lime 1 Ml into a lingering aicluieu like 
a consumption, together with a Umenesi, which cor- 
rcAion I Mw (he Lord sent (o humble and try me and 
do me good; and i( wai not altogether incfTcduil. 

It pleased God to keep me a long lime without a 
rhild, which was a great grief lo me, and cost me 
many pravers and leara before I obtained one; and 
after him gave me many more, of whom I now take 
the care, that ai I hive brought you into (he world, 
and with great pains, weskncM, caret, and fean 
brought you to this, I now travail in binh again of 
you till Chrij( be formed in you. 

Among all my experience! of God'i graciou* deal- 
ings with me ) have coostandy observed ihi», that he 
hath never suScrcd me long to ait Iook from him, but 
by one viffliflion or other hath made me look home, 
and search .what was amis.; lo usually ihus il hath 
been with me that I have no sooner feh my hear( out 
of order but I have cxpefied correftion for it, which 



3 1 6 J'be Writings of Mrs, Anne Brads tree t 

most commonly hath been upon my own person in 
sickness, weakness, pains, sometimes on my soul in 
doubts and fears of God's displeasure and mv sin- 
cerity towards him. Sometimes he hath smote a child 
with sickness, sometimes chastened by losses in estate; 
and these times, through his great mercy, have been 
the times of my greatest getting and advantage — yea, I 
have found them the times when the Lord hath mani- 
fested the most love to me. Then have I gone to 
searching, and have said with David, ** Lord, search mc 
and try me, see what ways of wickedness are in mc, 
and lead me in the way everlasting." And seldom or 
never but I have found either some sin I lay under 
which God would have reformed, or some duty nc- 
glcfted which he would have performed. And by 
his help 1 have laid vows and bonds upon my soul to 
perform his righteous commands. 

If at any time you are chastened of God, take it as 
thankfully and joyfully as in greatest mercies; for if yc 
be his yc shall reap the greatest benefit by it. It 
hath been no small support to me in times of dark- 
ness when the Almighty hath hid his face from me 
that yet I have had abundance of sweetness and re- 
freshment after afflidion, and more circumspeftion in 
my walking after I have been afflidled. I have been 
with God like an untoward child, that no longer than 
the rod has been on my back, or at least in sight, but 
I have been apt to forget him and myself too. ** Before 

Ta Mj Dear Chilirn 317 

I wu ifBifled I went uiray, but now I keep thy 

I hjvc had grett experience of Gud'» heiu-ing my 
pniyerx and recurning comfonablc uiswen to me, 
cither in graniing the thing I prayed Tor or ebe In 
Mtiifying my mind without it; and I hive been COO- 
Biieni it haih been from htm, because i h*vc found 
my heiri through hi^ goodness enlarged in thinkful- 

I have often been perplexed that I have not found 
that t-'onitani joy in my pilgiiroage and rcfmbing ' 
which I suppoted most of (he Krrvanu of God hive; ; 
ilthougli he hath not left me sirogeiher without the 
wiin»s ol his Holy Spirit, who hath oIi given me bii 
word and set to his seal that it shall be well with me. 
[ have sometimes tasted of that hidden manni that the 
world knows not, and have set up my Ebenezer, ind 
have resolved with myself that against such a promise, 
such tastes of sweetness, the gates of hell shall never 
prevail. Yet have I many times sinkings and droop- 
ing;, and not enjoyed that felicity that tometimca I 
have done. But when I have been in darknesi, and 
seen no light, yet have I desired to stay myself upon 
the Lord. 

And when I have been in sickness and pain I 
have thought if the Lord would but lift up the light 
of his countenance upon me, although he ground me 
to powder it would be but light to me; yea, oft have 


3 1 8 The Writings of Mrs. Jlumt Brmdsir^ei 

I thought, were it hell itself, and could there find die 
love of God toward me, it ivould be a heaven. And 
could I have been in heaven without the love of God, 
it would have been a hell to me; for, in truth, it is 
the absence and presence of God that makes heaven 
or hell. 

Many times hath Satan troubled me concerning the 
verity of the Scriptures; many times by atheism how 
I could know whether there was a God. I never saw 
any miracles to confirm me, and those which I read 
of how did I know but they were feigned ? That 
there is a God my reason would soon tell me by the 
wondrous works that I see — the vast frame of the 
heaven and the earth, the order of all thinga, night 
and day, summer and winter, spring and autumn, the 
daily providing for this great household upon the 
earth, the preserving and diredting of all to its proper 
end. The consideration of these things would with 
amazement certainly resolve me that there is an Eter- 
nal Being. 

But how should I know he is such a God as I wor- 
ship in Trinity, and such a Saviour as I rely upon? 
Though this hath thousands of times been suggested 
to mc, yet God hath helped me over. I have argued 
thus with myself: That there is a God I see. If 
ever this God hath revealed himself, it must be in his 
Word, and this must be it or none. Have I not found 
that operation by it that no hunun invention can 

T» My Dtar Children jiy 

work upon the (oul f Have not juilgmcnii bet'illen 
ilivLTB who hive Beamed luid i.~unteiuDcii U ? H«lh ii 
not been pr»crvcJ through «tl *%k» maugrc ill the 
liciihcn tyrants ind all of the enemies who have 
opposed it ? !;> there any story but that which shows 
the beginning) of time, and how the world came to 
be »i wc see ? Do wc not know the propheciea in it 
lutfilted which could not hive been lo long foretold 
by «ny but God himself? 

When I have got over this block then have I ui> 
other put in my way, that, admit this be the true God 
whom we worship, and that be his Word, yet why may 
not the popish religion be the right ? They have the 
Mmc God, the same Christ, the same Word; they only 
interpret it one way, wc anoihcr. Thii halh •omc- 
tiiiiea Fiuck with mc, und more ii would but the vain 
fooleries that arc in their religion, together with their 
lying miracles and cruet pcrsccuiiuns of the saints, 
which admit were they as they term them, yet not 
1(1 to be dealt withal. The cnnsideration of tbeae 
thingo and many the like would soon turn me to my 
own religion again. 

But some new troubles I have had since the world 
hf- been filled with bUiphcmy and sedlaries, and 

aoiHC rtho have heea •ci.-uimied sincere Christian* 
have been carried away with them, that sometimes I 
have said. Is there faith upon the earth? and I have 
nut known what to think. But then I have remem- 


3 20 The Writings of Mrs, Anne BrMdstreet 

bered the words of Christ that so it must be, and thatp 
if it were possible^ the very ele£l should be deceived. 
^'Bcholdy'* saith our Saviour^ "I have told you before." 
That hath stayed my hearty and I can now say, «« Re- 
turn, O my soul, to thy rest. Upon this rock Christ 
Jesus will I build my faith; and if I perish. I perish.*' 
But r know all the powers of hell shall never prevail 
against it. I know whom I have trusted, and whom 
I have believed, and that he is able to keep that I 
have committed to his charge. 

Now to the King immortal, eternal, and invisible, 
the only wise God, be honor and glory for ever and 
ever! Amen. 

This was written in much sickness and weakness, and 
is very weakly and impcrfedlly done; but if you can pick 
any benefit out of it, it is the mark which I aimed at. 



By night, when others soundly slept 
And had at once both ease and rest. 

My waking eyes were open kept. 
And so to lie I found it best. 

I sought him whom my soul did love; 

With tears I sought him earnestly; 
He bowed his ear down from above. 

In vain I did not seek or cry. 

Oetaiian«l MtMlsUami 


My hungry soul he filled wilh goadi 
He in his botilc put my tcut; 

My smirting wouniit washetl in hi» blood. 
And b«niEhed thence my doubb and fcan. 

What to my Siviour t\\».\\ 1 give 
Who freely hith done thii for me? 

[ '11 xeive him here whilii I ihall live. 
And love him lo ciemily. 

When aOrrowa htd begirt me rodnd, 

And pain* within ind out, 
When in tny floh no part ivai found. 
Then didit thuu rid iJie ou(. 

My burning flesh in sweat did boil. 

My aching head did break; 
From side to side for ease I toil. 

So faint I couM not speak. 

Beclouded wis my soul with fear 

Of thy displeasure sore. 
Nor could I read my evidence 

Which oft 1 read before. 

"Hide not thy face from me," I cried; 
" From burning! keep my soul. 
Thou knowesi my heart, and hast me tried; 


322 The Writings of Mrs. Amme Brrndstrai 

<'Oh, heal my soul/* thou knowest I said, 
'' Though flesh consume to naught. 
What though in dust it shall be laid? 
To glory it shall be brought." 

Thou hcardest, thy rod thou didst r^mov^^ 

And spared my body frail; 
Thou showedst to me thy tender love. 

My heart no more might quail. 

Oh, praises to my mighty God ! 

Praise to my Lord, I say. 
Who hath redeemed my soul from pit. 

Praises to him for aye! 


In my distress I sought the Lord, 

When naught on earth could comfort give; 
And when my soul these things abhorred. 

Then, Lord, thou saidst unto me. Live. 

Thou knowest the sorrows that I felt. 

My plaints and groans were heard of thee. 

And how in sweat I seemed to melt; 
Thou helpedst and thou regardedst me. 

My wasted flesh thou didst restore. 

My feeble loins didst gird with strength; 

Yea, when I was most low and poor 
I said, <<I shall praise thee at length.** 

Onatuusl MiHtMtiaai 313 

Whii ghill I render to my God 

For al! hie bounty ihowed to me — 

E'en lor his mercies in hU jod. 
Where pity most of all 1 *eef 

My heart I wholly give 10 thee; 

Oh, make it t'ruitlUI, taithliil. Lord! 
My life ahall dedicated be 

To praise in thought, in deed, in word. 

Thou knowett no life I did require 
Lon{;er tlian still ihy name to ptaiK, 

Nor aught on earth worthy desire 
In drawing oat these wretched day*. 

Thy name and praise to celebrate, 
O Lord, for aye is my request. 

Oh, gram I do it in thit tttte. 

And then with thee, which is the belt. 

Worthy art thou, O Lord of praiacl 

But, ah! it '1 not in me; 
My linking heart I pray the« raise. 
So shall I give it thee. 

" My life as spider's web 's cut off!" 

Thus, filming, have I said; 
"And living man no more shall lee. 
But be in silence laid." 


324 The Writings of Mrs, Anne Bradstreet 

My feeble spirit thou didst revive. 
My doubting thou didst chide; 

And though as dead, madest me alive, 
I here a while might abide. 

Why should I live but to thy praise? 

My life is hid with thee. 
O Lord, no longer be my days 

Than I may fruitful be. 


Lord, why should I doubt any more when thou 
hast given me such assured pledges of thy love? First, 
thou art my Creator, I thy creature; thou my Master, 
1 thy servant. But hence arises not my comfort. 
Thou art my Father, I thy child: "Ye shall be my 
sons and daughters," saith the Lord Almighty. Christ 
is my brother: **I ascend unto my father and your 
father, unto my God and your God.'* But lest this 
sliould not be enough, **Thy maker is thy husband." 
Nay, more, **I am a member of his body; he, my 
head.** Such privileges, had not the word of truth 
made them known, who or where is the man that 
durst in his heart have presumed to have thought it? 
So wonderful are these thoughts that my spirit fails 

Ottaiintit MeMtdthtu 


in mc It the coniideraiioo ihereof; ind I am con- 
founded to think that God, wh« hath done so much 
for me, should have so little from me. But this is 
my comfort: when I come into Heaven, 1 shall un- 
derstand perfcfily what he hath done for nie, and 
then shall 1 be able to praise him as I ought. Lord, 
having this hope, let me purify myself as thou art 
pure, and let me be no more afraid of death, but even 
desire to be dissolved and be with thee, which it best 
of all. 

jMly 8. l6s6. 

I had a sore fit of fainting, which Uited two or 

, bul J 

R that 


rhki, M 

took me; and so much the sorer it was to me benuM 
my dear husband was from home, who is my chiefest 
comforter on earth. Bui my God, who never ftiled 
me, was not absent, but helped me, and graciously 
manifested his love to me, which I dare not past by 
without remembrance, that it may be a support to 
mc when I shall have occasion to read this hereafter, 
and to others that shall read it when I shall poueaa 
that I now hope for, that SO they may be cDCOtt- 
raged to trust in him who is the only portion of his 

O Lord, let me never forget thy goodness, nor 
(jucstion thy faithfulness to me; for thou art my God. 
Thou hast said, and shall not I believe itf 


326 The IVritings of Mrs, Anne Brads treei 

Thou htsc given me a pledge of that inheritance 
thou hast promised to bestow upon me. Oh» never let 
Satan prevail against me. but strengthen my faith in 
thee till I shall attain the end of my hopes, even 
the salvation of my soul. Come, Lord Jesus; come 

What God is like to him I serve ? 

What Saviour like to mine? 
Oh, never let me from thee swerve. 

For truly I am thine. 

My thankful mouth shall speak thy praise. 

My tongue shall talk of thee; 
On high my heart oh do thou raise. 

For what thou hast done for me. 

Goy worldlings, to your vanities. 

And heathen to your gods; 
Let them help in adversities. 

And sanctify their rods. 

My God he is not like to yours. 

Yourselves shall judges be; 
I find his love, I know his power, 

A succorcr of me. 

He is not man that he should lie. 
Nor son of man to unsay; 

OtiatiaHtt! MfditJitwnj 

His word he plighted haih on high. 
And I ihill live for aye. 

And for his take ihac faithful it. 
That died but now doth live. 

The ftrsi and lut, that lives for aye, 
Mc liiiing life ihill give. 

My loul, rejoice ihou in thy Gcxl; 

Boast of him lU the dayi 
Walk in his law, and kiu hu rod; 

Cleave dose to him alway. 
Whii though thy gutward man decay. 

Thv inward shall wax strong; 
Thy body vile it shall be changed. 

And glorious made ere long. 

With anget's wings thy soul shall mouDt 

To bliss unseen by eye. 
And drink at unexhausted fount 

Of joy unto eternity. 

Thy leara shall all be dried up. 

Thy sorrows all shall flee; 
Thy sins shall ne'er be summoned up. 

Nor come in memory. 

Then shall 1 know what thou hast done 
For mc, unworthy mc. 


328 The Writings of Mrs. Anne Brads tree t 

And praise thee shall e'en as I ought 
For wonders that I see. 

Base world, I trample on thy face; 

Thy glory I despise; 
No gain I find in aught below. 

For God hath made me wise. 

Come, Jesus, quickly! Blessed Lord, 
Thy face when shall I see ? 

Oh, let me count each hour a day 
Till I dissolved be. 

August 28, 1656, 

After much weakness and sickness, when my spirits 
were worn out, and many times my faith weak like- 
wise, the Lord was pleased to uphold my drooping 
heart, and to manifest his love to me. And this is that 
which stays my soul that this condition that I am in 
is the best for me, for God doth not affli6l willingly, 
nor take delight in grieving the children of men. He 
hath no benefit by my adversity, nor is he the better 
for my prosperity; but he doth it for my advantage, 
and that I may be a gainer by it. And if he knows 
that weakness and a frail body is the best to make me 
a vessel fit for his use, why should I not bear it, not 
only willingly but joyfully? The Lord knows I 
dare not desire that health that sometimes I have had. 

OetMimal Mfiiitathni j 19 

]»[ my hcirt ahouM be drawn from him, ind «ct 
upon ihe world. 

Now I cxn wail, looking every day when my Sa> 
viour ahall call for mc. LorJ, grant that while 1 live 
[ may do that lervice I *tn xble in this frail body, 
and be in continual eipefbtion of my change. And 
Ici mc never forget thy great Jove to my loul to late* 
ly expresicd, when i could lie down and hequealh 
my aoul to thee, and death seemed no terrible thing. 
Oh, let me ever ace ihcc thai art invisible, and I ahall 
not be unwilling to come, though by ao rough a 

May II, l6$f. 

I had a sore sickness, and weakness took hold of me, 
which hath by tits lasted all this spring till this 1 ith 
May. Yet hath my God given me many a respite, 
and some ability to perform the duties I owe to him, 
and the work of my family. 

Many a refreshment have 1 found in this my weary 
pilgrimage, and in this valley of Baca many pools of 
water. Thai which now 1 chiefly tabor for is a con- 
tented, thankful heart under my affliflion atid weak- 
ness, seeing it is the will of God it should be thus. 
Who am 1 thai 1 should repine it his pleasure, espe- 
cially seeing it is for my spiritual advantage? For I 
hope my soul shall flourish while my body decays, and 


330 The Writings of Mrs. Annt BrMdstreet 

the weakness of this outward man shall be a means 
to strengthen my inner man. 

''Yet a little while, and he that shall come will 
come, and will not tarry/' 

May I J, i6s7' 

As spring the winter doth succeed. 
And leaves the naked trees do dress. 

The earth all black is clothed in green. 
At sunshine each their joy express. 

My sun 's returned with healing wings. 

My soul and body do rejoice; 
My heart exults, and praises sings 

To him that heard my wailing voice. 

My winter 's past, my storms are gone. 
And former clouds seem now all fled; 

But if they must eclipse again 
I MI run where I was succored. 

I have a shelter from the storm, 
A shadow from the fainting heat; 

I have access unto his throne 

Who is a God so wondrous great. 

Oh, thou hast made my pilgrimage 
Thus pleasant, fair, and good; 

Blessed me in youth and elder age; 
My Baca made a springing flood. 

QmnHHsl MtJiuiKKi 331 

I iCudious am whNi I aiull do 
To show my duly with delight; 

All I cm give ii but thine own. 
And It the iiio«i ■ (implc mite. 

Sefimitr JO, 1651 . 

It pletscd God lo TiKt me with my old distemper 
of wealtnesi (nd fainting, but nut in that tore manner 
sometimei he hath. I deiire not only willingly, bat 
thankfully, to submit to him, for I inut it ii out of 
his abundant love to my straying loul which in proa- 

found by ( 

riih the world. I have 

e liv. 


I give 1 


1 without food. Lord, wilh thy forrcc- 
nsiruftion ard amendment, and then thy 
I be welcome. I have not been refined in 
the furnace of affliflion as some have been, but have 
nther been preserved with sugar than brine; yet will 
he preserve me to his heavenly kingdom. 

Thus, dear children, have ye seen the many lick- 
neues and weaknesses that 1 have passed through to 
the end that, if you meet wilh the like, you may have 
recourse to the same God who hath heard and de- 
livered me, and will do the lilie for you if you tmil 
in him. And when he shall deliver you out of dis- 
tress, forget not to give him thanks, but walk more 
closely with him than before. This is the deiire of 
your loving mother. A, B, 


332 l^bf Writings of Mrs. Anne BrMdsirM 


Thou mighty God of sea ind land, 

I here resign into thy hand 

The son of prayers, of vows, of lean. 

The child I stayed for many years. 

Thou heardest me then, and gavest him me; 

Hear me again: I give him thee. 

He 's mine, but more, O Lord, thine own. 

For sure thy grace on him is shown. 

No friend I have like thee to trust. 

For mortal helps are brittle dust. 

Preserve, O Lord, from storms and wreck. 

Protect him there, and bring him back; 

And if thou shah spare me a space. 

That I again may see his face. 

Then shall I celebrate thy praise. 

And bless thee for it all my days. 

If otherwise I go to rest. 

Thy will be done, for that is best; 

Persuade my heart I shall him see 

For ever happificd with thee. 

Mdy iTt 1 661. 

It hath pleased God to give me a long time of res- 
pite for these four years that I have had no great fit of 
sickness; but this year, from the middle of January 

OftaiUnal Mtdiurinu 333 

■ill May, I have been by fiu very ill and wt»k. The 
fini or this monih I hid 1 fever acjitcd upon mc which 
indeed was the longest and lorcit thai ever I had, 
laiting four days; and the weather being very hot 
made it the more tedious. But it pleased the Lord to 
luppon my heart in hit goodness, and to hear my 
prayers, and to deliver me out of adversity. But, 
alu! I cannot render unio the Lord according to all 
his lovingkiDdness, nor take the cup of salvation with 
thanksgiving as 1 ought to do. Lord, thou that 
knowest all things knowesl that I desire to testify my 
ihankfulneis not only in word but in deed, that my 
n may speak th»i thy vaws are upon me. 

My thankful heart with glorying tongue 

Shall celebrate thy name 
Who hath restored, redeemed, recured. 

From sickness, death, and pain. 

I cried, "Thou seemcst to make some sti 

I sought more earnestly; 
And in due time thou succoredst me. 

And icniest me help from high. 

Lord, whilst my fleeting time shall last 

Thy goodness let mc tell. 
And new experience I have gained 

My future doubts repel. 


334 '^^^ Writings 9f Mrs. Ammi Bradstreet 

An humble, faithful life, O Lord, 

For ever let me walk; 
Let my obedience testify 

My praise lies not in talk. 

Accept, O Lord, my simple mite. 

For more I cannot give; 
What thou bestowest I shall restore. 

For of thine alms I live. 

JUNE, 1661. 

When fears and sorrows me besets 
Then didst thou rid me out; 

When heart did faint and spirits quail. 
Thou comfonedst me about. 

Thou raisedst him up I feared to lose, 

Regavest me him again; 
Distempers thou didst chase away. 

With strength didst him sustain. 

My thankful heart, with pen record 

The goodness of thy God; 
Let thy obedience testify 

He taught thee by his rod. 

And with his staff did thee support. 
That thou by both mayst Iearn« 

Ottaiitiul Mftliuthin % 

And 'twixi ihe good >nil evil wa^ 
Ai last ihou mtghiest disceni. 

Prti»e9 to him who hath not left 

My soul » destitute. 
Nor turned his ear awty from me, 

Bui granted hath my suit. 


Blest be thy name, who didsi restore 

To health my daughter dear 
When dc»th did seem e'en lo approach 

And life was ended near. 

Grant she remember what thou hast done. 

And celebrate thy praise. 
And let her conversation say 

She loves thee all thy days. 

ENGLAND, JULY 17, 1661. 

All praise to him who hath now turned 
My fears to joys, my sighs to song. 

My tears lo smiles, my sad to glad: 
He 's come lor whom 1 waited long. 


Of pirates who were near at 
And orderedii lo the advene w 

That he before them got to I 
In country atiaiige tbon didtt pi 

And friends railed him in en 
And courtestej of sundry lorti 

From luch u 'btc oc'cr mw 
In ticknen when be ky fiill aor 

Hii help and hii phyudao m 
When royal onet that dme did < 

Thou heiledst his fleth, and < 
From troubles and encumbets tl 

Without — all fraud — didtt i 
That without icandil he might 

To the land of hii u 

On eagle't wing* him hither bn 
Through want and dangen m 

And thus hath granted my reqiu 
That I thy mercies might bel 

And mty pui him in mind of whtt 
Thou h»t done Tor him, uid lo for me. 

In both our heirti erefi a frame 
Of duty and of thukfulncu. 
That (Jl thy ftvori gr«i received 
Our upright walking miy cxprCH. 

O Lord, grant that I may never forget thy loving- 
kindneis in this particular, and how gracionily thou 
hail annrered my deiiret. 

JANUARY i6, 1661. 

O thou Mote High, who ruleii all. 
And hearest the prayers of thine. 

Oh, hearken. Lord, unto my luii, 
And my petition sign. 

Into ihy everlasting arm* 

Of mercy I commend 
Thy lervant. Lord; keep and preterve 

My huiband, my dear friend. 

A( thy command, O Lord, he went. 
Nor naught could keep him back. 

Then let thy promise joy his hean; 
Oh, help, and be not slack. 


338 The Writings of Mrs, Anne Brads treet 

Uphold my heart in thee, O God, 
Thou art my strength and stay; 

Thou seest how weak and frail I am. 
Hide not thy face away. 

I, in obedience to thy will. 
Thou knowest did submit; 

It was my duty so to do; 
O Lord, accept of it. 

Unthankfulncss for mercies past 

Impute thou not to me; 
O Lord, thou knowest my weak desire 

Was to sing praise to thee. 

Lord, be thou pilot to the ship. 
And send them prosperous gales; 

In storms and sickness. Lord, preserve - 
Thy goodness never fails. 

Unto thy work he hath in hand. 
Lord, grant thou good success 

And favor in their eyes to whom 
He shall make his address. 

Remember, Lord, thy folk whom thou 
To wilderness hast brought; 

Let not thine own inheritance 
Be sold away for naught. 

But tokens of thy favor give — 
With joy send back my dear. 

Thtl I, ind all thy servinU, miy 
Rejoice with heavenly cheer. 

Lord, let my eyes >ee once Rgiin 

Hitn whom ihou giveit me. 
That we logeiher ina)r ling pniae 

For ever unto thee; 

And the remainder of our dayi 

Shall CO Die crated be 
With an engaged heart to sing 

All pniici unto thee. 


O Lord, (hou heareit my daily moan. 

And scMt my dropping tears; 
My trouble* all arc ihee before. 

My longing) and tay fetn. 

Thou hitherto hait been my God, 
Thy help my soul hath found; 

Though loss and sicknets me assailed. 
Through thee I 've kept my ground. 

And thy abode thou hast made with me; 

With thee my soul can talk 
In secret places, thee I find 

Where I do kneel or walk. 


34© I'bf Writings of Mrs. Anne Braistrut 

Though husband dear be from me gone, 

Whom I do love so well, 
I have a more beloved one 

Whose comforts far excel. 

Oh, stay my heart on thee, my God, 

Uphold my fainting soul; 
And when I know not what to do 

I Ml on thy mercies roll. 

My weakness thou dost know full well 

Of body and of mind; 
I in this world no comfort have 

But what from thee I find. 

Though children thou hast given me. 

And friends I have also. 
Yet if I see thee not through them 

They are no joy, but woe. 

Oh, shine upon me, blessed Lord, 
E'en for my Saviour's sake; 

In thee alone is more than all. 
And there content I *11 take. 

Oh, hear me. Lord, in this request. 
As thou before hast done — 

Bring back my husband, I beseech. 
As thou didst once my son. 

So shall I celebrate thy praise 
E'en while my days shall last. 

And talk to xay b«loved one 

or til thy goodness pait. 
So both of ui thy kindneu. Lord, 

With praises ihsll recount. 
And lerve tJiec better than before 

Whose blessings thus surmount. 
But give me. Lord, a better hetrtj 

Then better shall t be 
To pay the wow» which I do owe 

For ever unto thee. 

Unless thou help, what 
But still my frailty show? 

If (hou assiii me. Lord, 1 shall 
Return thee what I owe. 

I do 


O ihou that hearest the prayers of thine. 
And 'mongsi them hast regarded mine. 
Hast heard my cries, and seen my tear*. 
Halt known my doubts and all my fean, 
Thou hast relieved my fainting heart. 
Nor paid me after my desert; 
Thou hasi to shore him safely brought 
For whom I thee lo oft besought. 

34* The Writings of Mrs. Anne BrMdstreet 

Thou wast the pilot to the ship. 
And raised him up when he was sick; 
And hope thou hast given of good success 
In this his business and address. 

And that thou wilt return him back 
Whose presence I so much do lack. 
For all these mercies I thee praise. 
And so desire e'en all my days. 

TEMBER 3. 1662. 

What shall I render to thy name. 

Or how thy praises speak; 
My thanks how shall I testify? 

O Lord, thou knowest I 'm weak. 

I owe so much, so little can 

Return unto thy name. 
Confusion seizes on my soul. 

And I am filled with shame. 

Oh, thou that hearest prayers. Lord, 

To thee shall come all flesh; 
Thou hast me heard and answered. 

My plaints have had acceu. 

What did I ask for but thou gavest ? 
What could I more desire 

But thuikfuIncM e'en all my days .' 
1 humbly this rei^uirc. 

Thy mercies. Lord, hive been so grot. 

la number niunbertcM, 
Impossible for to reconni 

Or iny wiy ezprea*. 

Oh, help thy uints that MUght thy ficc 

To tetum unto thee praiie. 
And walk before thee as they ought 

In itrif) and upright ways. 

[■'This was the last thing written in that book by 
my dear and honored mother." — Note by Simon 
Bndstreet, Jr.] 

["Here follow some vertes upon the burning of 
our house, July loth, 1666. Copied out of « looae 
paper." — Note by Simon Bradstreei, Jr.] 

In silent night, when reit I took. 

For sorrow near 1 did not look. 

1 wakened wai with thundering noite 

And piteous shrieks of dreadful voice. 

That fearful sound of "Fire!" and "Fire!" 

Let no man know, is my desire. 


ling up, the light did spy, 
o my God my heart did cry 


Ann wDcn 1 could no long 
I blest hu tume that gwve i 
Thtt lud my goods now it 
Yo, M it wu, and so *c w 
It wu hu own; it was not 
'^ Ftr be it that I should ivpii 

He mi|^t of all jtudy berefi; 
But yet nifficient for os left. 
When by the rains oH J pasi 
My torrowing eyes uide did 
And here and there the placo 
Where oft I tat, and long did 

' Here itood that trank, snd the 
There lay that itore I counted 
My pleannt tlungi in aahes liCj 
And them behold no more ihnJ 
Under thy roof no gnett ahsll ■ 
Nor at thy ti^le est s lnt| 

No pleasant tale ihall e'er be to 
Nor things recounted done of ol 
No candle e'er ihall thine in thi 
Nor bridegroom't voice e'er ka 

UfeK ibt Burning «f Htr Hnit 

In silence ever shalt ihou lie. 
Adieu, adicu) ill 's vinicy. 
Then straight I 'gan my heart to chjde: 
And did thy wealth od earth abide? 
Didii fix thjr hope on mouldering dotl. 
The Brm of fleah didst make thy tniii? 
Raiie up thy thought! above the tliy. 
That dunghill mists away may fly. 
Thou hast an house on high ercd; 
Framed by that mighty ArchiteA, 
With glory richly liirniihed. 
Stands permanent though thi) be fled. 
It 's purchased, and paid for, too. 
By Him who hath enough to do — 
A price so vast as ii unltnovn. 
Yet, by hi) gift, is made thine own. 
There 's wealth enough; I need no more 
Farewell, my pelf; farewell, my store; 
The world no longer let me love. 
My hope and treasure He above. 



346 The fFri tings of Mrs. Anne Brmdstrttt 

[Another loose paper. J 

As weary pilgrim^ now at rest. 

Hugs with delight his silent nest. 
His wasted limbs now lie full soft 

That miry steps have trodden oft; 
Blesses himself to think upon 

His dangers past and travails done; 
The burning sun no more shall heat. 

Nor stormy rains on him shall beat; 
The briars and thorns no more shall scratc 

Nor hungry wolves at him shall catch; 
He erring paths no more shall tread, 
^ Nor wild fruits eat, instead of bread; 
For waters cold he doth not long. 

For thirst no more shall parch his tongu 
No rugged stones his feet shall gall. 

Nor stumps nor rocks cause him to fall; 
All cares and fears he bids farewell. 

And means in safety now to dwell — 
A pilgrim I on earth, perplexed 

With sins, with cares and sorrows vexec 
By age and pains brought to decay. 

And my clay house mouldering away. 
Oh, how I long to be at rest. 

And soar on high among the blest! 
This body shall in silence sleep. 

Mine eyes no more shall ever weep; 

Ai wtarj Pilgrim, ntw »t rut J< 

No fiinting (its thill me siuil, 

Nor grinding pains my body friil, 
Wiih ewes and fears ne'er cumbered be. 

Nor losies know, nor torrow* sec. 
What chough my flesh shall there contume i 

It is the bed Christ did perfume; 
And when a few years shall be gone 

This mortal shall be clothed upon. 
A corrupt carcass down it lies, 

A glorious body it shall rise; 
In vreakneti and dishonor sown. 

In power 't is raised by Christ alone. 
Then soul ind body shall unite. 

And of their maker have the light; 
Such lasting joys shall there behold 

As ear ne'er heard nor tongue e'er told. 
Lord, make me ready for that day! 

Then come, dear bridegroom, come awty. 

August ji, 1669. 


ISaodt* and *»« puoAinl to Hid» ■grwmcri', n'>t .44«ir.|t ■(. 
\fiTwinlitDpl>Mder- M()a^MnrC^(^inl Wni llv r io the Foocid 
^^a {ud th' V ate luiu on ibc SfnoUh Cuitl ■<> Tttdks (Khm | 

Qfamrd'Oui B'" and C^/i" rir Rhndf-Iiltnd, aaa tf^ffUi 
Lk Sunwrn Enfncil 'Jur JtifflMuf Tm AaU)iU3, bwri liar 

JTStlMi, ^;**( ■;< LdlLon)) Oav dv^l swjilil* day vm 
BufKd the HoBonnttlc Mtdim *» Br*4fr«/ jiu^d 79 ^ewi , 
She WM Ac rdiA Widnw nfXSeveinonr Biv^fmr, ia.f 1 G»- 
ilewnm* oIkoimI Rinh & EKtxUeru Edocwkin.beiiiiD^Liihtn- 
W &M«M>J Di—f^ EftfiUUl Sifcr l« ifce Hoouat«hJc SirG" i' 
Diw tf if Biru mcriitw Emot Ennnnlinafr fron Kii>K 
ChvlM'helL li^HMiMt Bvtilui which rnn!r>^ her one 
of thi EsoeUnn Ona of iM Etedk wn hcf IniMnt Ejitinan' 
"n RtUgtnn boib m to dx kBrnrledfc swl pmrer ol it. »i:h 
which were hkppilr I'^Toed mar rare Ea^MtacMs oi pi lod, 
and t aoR tcrmblc CanvtrUtMB : (he vaa bora h LowJaa, 
sod came verr TtnuK fi Nca-EoRltiKl. ww firfi Mifrreil n 
Cipr.S^b^ C^r^rf of Silctn, an^l alicrvardi to G:irernoar 

XraMrmt, but Ml ao Iffjt bv citbcr. 

^w)«fM, ^;nJ t4. Lafl ManfcT ■ Mu ant! hn \'. ii> at 
Oni>«o RoiriR tothrir fkni fprnlaB iBdtm o»*.inR bf » 
Ficrc r»wiirdi them, wMeb aStofi a(thc Inrfi::) made ibctn 
think Hi:i]>fi|>n'(lfii'rhw4. iipm wMcbCol. Wahhofi ordered 
n AUrm 10 l-T.nlc Thh ManiB| iirifcd a K^bia 
rWvn Aiyiffoui V«giti'ri,Bttijamto fWAd Maftw.who fp^ko 
wirh ■ Ship Within iheCapa*. jial«tti»rf&ooiEaiil^i.d, Kin 
had him. That tb<Pea«'*— « i i »n'.—"Wi' f n be ProcUWJ 
(be iSfb.'flrinh Mnath ; he taetair)wiih a WhicchivcTi man 

^ttfiii, wbvltiW hini ihr fame. 

^ tMit^mi, Af.i 14 On ite >othCamottrrnrr«1heK 

Jarak* MiUcr, Wha fnya, i)ia< ./tM M«rM4«r In a Sloop b-- 
[^''Xttvf ra lb if place, waa amv'd at An' licm frcmi Cuiaeai,aad 
fcr rm-d Kin -hif rhr Itafch in thar ir mj Wn- r^rcM « par 

I ----- -. - r ,,.„t,i,r,ar-dl5,-.„r,.J r-. -,<-r,i.,^ 

'"ioc lir'iii'-ij r, 
■I -I ,,tji( In.ta K'-- ■ ' ■ 

" NKWS [.KTTF.R." April 20-17, 171J. 

r'lriy )i Wonnicr, Miu. Refrn lo the Kcond wife of 
ivrrnoi Brjiinriti, lo whom he WH mirried in 1676, four 
in itirr the il»[h of the pae<i "ti whuM t'*"* nanic wu 



FiANOS Wilson. New Rochelle, N. V. 

Paul Leuperlv, Cleveltad. 

SitTtterj and TrtMturtr. 
W. UviNG Wav, Chicago. 

Ben T. Cable, Rock Iiland, liiiooii. 
Edmund H. Garrett, Winchester, Mat). 
Edward Stratton Hollowav, PhiUdelphia. 
Frank E. Hopkins, New York. 
Brander Matthews, New York, 
De Witt Miller, PhiUdelphia. 
Heriert Stvart Stone, Chicago. 
Leon H. Vincent, Philadelphia. 
A. W. Whelplev, Cincinnati. 

3 2044 018 8 


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9 Zi 



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